In February 2021, SolarPower Europe and EIT InnoEnergy, with the support of the European Commission, launched a new European Solar Initiative (ESI). The aim would be to facilitate the development of 20 GW of manufacturing capacity in Europe for solar PV technologies by 2025, unlock EUR 40 billion of GDP per year and create 400,000 new jobs.
Since the initiative began, the ESI has been supporting different manufacturing projects across the continent. According to SolarPower Europe, the Business Investment Platform is accompanying a number of projects that are candidates for investment support.
The Industry Platform, the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator, has been organising discussions with different parts of the industry and promoting dialogue between stakeholders.
The initiative is being noticed, with several selected projects already providing positive news. One example would be the inauguration of two production sites in East Germany by Meyer Burger, with an annual capacity of 0.4 GW of solar cells and 0.4 GW of solar modules.
Another example would also be in Germany, Oxford PV, announcing a grant from the Ministry of Economy of 8.8 million euros for a German factory in 2022.
Another company, NexWafe, increased its capital by 10 million euros to produce more wafers.
In May, the European Solar Initiative was welcomed and supported by the European Union.
The European Commission named solar PV, along with other renewable technologies, as one of the 14 key industrial ecosystems for the Union, highlighting the market opportunities and the strategic importance of creating a strong EU industry.
The future until 2025
"The impressive growth of the European solar PV market in 2020 demonstrated the resilience and strength of solar energy in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, opening up important prospects for European solar PV producers and positioning solar PV technologies as strategic for the EU economy," the officials note on their website "
"At the same time, European companies and research centres have demonstrated their global innovative edge, developing world-leading high-efficiency cell and module technologies, as well as future-proofing solar applications in buildings, water and agricultural land," they add.
ESI aims to help develop 20 GW of manufacturing capacity for solar PV technologies in Europe by 2025, unlock EUR 40 billion of GDP per year and create 400,000 new jobs.
Under these premises and anchored in the industrial strategy presented by the European Commission, the ESI aims to help develop a manufacturing capacity of 20 GW of solar PV technologies in Europe by 2025, unlock EUR 40 billion of GDP per year and create 400,000 new direct and indirect jobs across the PV value chain.