Investments of up to €30 billion would be needed to reach Europe’s 30GW annual manufacturing capacity across the solar PV supply chain by 2025. Image: Meyer Burger.
Trade body SolarPower Europe (SPE) has called on the European Commission to include a ‘best-in-class’ solar labelling to leverage PV industry demand for European manufacturing in the Green Deal Industrial Plan (GDIP).
In a letter sent to the European Commission and European Council presidents, Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, respectively, SPE said that in order to stimulate the market demand for European-made products, manufacturers will have to leverage a high sustainability performance as the basis of its competitive advantage.
This would be made via the establishment of a definition for ‘best-in-class solar’ based on a set of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria to recognise and award the top-performing products.
One of the applications for this category could be achieved in public procurement and specific auctions – in a non-exclusive and non-discriminatory manner – by allowing national governments to subsidise the higher costs of buying ‘best-in-class’ modules and inverters with tax credits or other bonuses, according to SPE’s letter.
Mobilising public and private finance for utility-scale solar manufacturing is the other important aspect to help Europe’s goal to have a 30GW annual domestic manufacturing capacity by 2025 across the supply chain of solar PV.
SPE estimates the investment to be north of €30 billion (US$31.8 billion) to reach the ‘polysilicon-to-modules’ goal in two years’ time, which will require a change in frameworks both at a national and EU level.
The trade body, along with CEOs of companies in the solar industry have been calling in the past for financial support in order to boost a domestic European PV manufacturing capacity.
The current State Aid framework outlined in the GDIP needs to be expanded from 2025 to 2030 at least, especially for operational expenditure (OPEX), similar to the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) 10-year timeframe, according to SPE.
Moreover, the State Aid Temporary Crisis and Transition Framework (TCTF) should allow aid for OPEX to compensate for energy costs and other structural disadvantages while …
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