This week will be of the key importance for the future of solar developments in the EU and the whole European PV manufacturing industry. The strategic agenda for the European PV deployment and the PV manufacturing industry will be set in the REPowerEU Plan and EU Strategy for Solar Energy, which will be launched on Wednesday. These framing documents are highly awaited by the EU solar industry and the Member States.
In this key moment the ESMC appreciates the support expressed by the 5 EU Member States; Austria, Belgium, Lithuania, Luxembourg, and Spain, for the re-establishment of a competitive solar PV manufacturing industry in Europe by the letter that was recently sent to the European Commission. The key proposals of the Member States in the area of PV manufacturing are fully in line with the goals and day-to-day policy actions of ESMC, and include:
- Financial instruments including state credit guarantees to unlock the financial capital for the PV manufacturing;
- Launching of support mechanisms aimed at scaling up existing solar manufacturing capacities and promote innovation in the form of dedicated call under the Innovation fund, mandate to EIB to promote financial support for factories and the set up an Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) for PV production in Europe;
- Set the objective that Europe has the capacity to manufacture 75% of the PV capacities we deploy within the EU by 2030;
- Adopt an accompanying analysis on the corresponding EU industrial manufacturing and investment needs.
Some of these proposals has already been proposed by the ESMC in their policy proposals to the European Commission back in March. Defining the European PV manufacturing target, creating a special financial vehicle to unlock the financial capital for the scale-up of the European PV manufacturing industry and using the potential of IPCEI for the PV were among our most important proposals to re-establish PV manufacturing industry in Europe. ESMC appreciates that these proposals have been also supported by the Member States.
It is worth to emphasize that while the European Commission and the Member States are looking for new concrete measures for the empowerment of the European PV manufacturing industry, the adequate efforts should also be taken in order to use the existing instruments, which potential remains untapped. One of such measure is the Important Project for Common European Interest (IPCEI), which is already extensively used in other areas of strategic interest for the EU – batteries, hydrogen, micro-electronics and health. ESMC highly supports the clear message and the commitment of the Member States that the IPCEI instrument also should be used for PV manufacturing, with emphasis on the R&D and the first industrial deployment of innovative PV manufacturing.
ESMC initiated the IPCEI framework for PV last year and has until now managed to consolidate more than 50 European PV manufacturing companies and research institutes participating, and 6 projects are being developed. This week, just after the adoption of the REPowerEU Plan and EU Strategy for Solar Energy, ESMC is organizing the PV-IPCEI launching event in Brussels. The intention of the event is to consolidate the efforts of the European PV manufacturing industry, as well as to get a broader involvement of the EU Member States into the PV-IPCEI framework.