Thursday, July 9th, 2020
Word of the Secretary General
Dear friends of European Solar Manufacturing !
In recent weeks we are moving slowly back to “normal” Tuesday 23rd June we had the opportunity to meet again in Brussels with HQ-team to discuss “in real” next ESMC-steps.
Yesterday 8th July, we had a gathering between important European PV Industry stakeholders, presenting the results of the joint effort of ETIP-PV, ESMC, ITPV, VDMA and SolarPower Europe with the 1st Solar Manufacturing Accelerator event. Especially un-fatigable Claude Turmes closing remarks highlighted what needs to be done: We need all to understand that Solar PV is an important “strategic asset for Europe”.
All presented projects together represent – my calculations- more than 15.000 direct Jobs for Europe, but the potential is higher. Jean Therme, one of the founders of French INES-Institute (CEA) near Chambery, estimated that each direct job in Solar PV induces 3-5 indirect jobs. So, we are coming close to 6 digits!
NOW we need to move: The July documents of the EU energy strategy show little to no ambition towards European Solar Manufacturing. Same within the German EU presidency, while the German government is willing to spend billions on old Coal industry to counteract all research institutes urgent demand in an asap phase-out of coal: Solar is much cheaper and will bring a healthier life for the European Citizens while replacing lost jobs in the coal industry.
My estimated colleague Jeremy Wates, Secretary General of the EEB, mentioned about the German EU presidency: “The most important in a long term, given the need to drive the green transition through the European Green Deal measures while helping to steer the EU through the recovery to the COVID crisis”, https://eeb.org/library/german-presidency-memorandum-2020/.
We ALL need to be inspired by the “Stronger Together” to support President Ursula von der Leyen in her ambitious plan for a “Green European Deal” integrating European Solar as THE backbone of the future energy systems!
The huge potential of Green Jobs is one of the keys for a Post-COVID Recovery is mentioned by IRENA in their Post-COVID recovery study.
Last but not least we should not allow to put “natural (= fossil)” gas in the 40 Bn Euro “Just Transition Fund” and support Pascal Canfin, French MEP opposing this: integrating now support schemes for the fossil gas cannot be the solution.
“May the SOLAR Force be with you.”
European Solar Manufacturing Council
The Joint Initiative to promote Solar Manufacturing in Brussels
The first event took place this 8th of July the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator(SoMA), the joint initiative by ETIP-PV, SolarPower Europe (SPE), IPVF (Solar Europe Now), VDMA and ESMC, initiated by SPE brought together an important number of Industry-ready European Initiatives. Important and very positive statements by high level stake holders like Claude Turmes, Minister for Energy of Luxemburg, who made clear that Solar PV is an important “strategic asset for Europe”, Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, Minister for Energy of the Republic of Lithuania gave an enthusiastic introduction to the topic as well Minister Andreas Pinkwart from so far Coal dominated North Rhine Westphalia inviting PV industry to his region. Barbara Botos, Deputy Minister of State for Climate Policy, Republic of Hungary presented the important this month upcoming call for PV proposals and the willingness of the Hungarian Government to go for Solar PV. Piotr Czopek, from the Ministry of Climate, Republic of Poland called Poland a future Key player of PV. It also highlighted that manufacturing in Europe still needs support from policymakers and will require more than good will to go back to the levels it occupied 10 years ago.
More to come in a dedicated press release.
What’s new on the policy slide ?
News from policy making in Brussels and in the capitals of Europe
The EU Innovation Fund – large-scale call has just started: It is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies: The Deadline for submission of applications to 1st stage: 29 October 2020
More info: https://ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/innovation-fund_en
The Commission is working on the first call for small-scale projects to be launched in end of 2020.
Two documents on the EU energy strategy, published July 8th focusing on “Green hydro” and “off-shore-wind” almost only. It seems that Solar is a lost battle for the EU-Commission, although it should be a key player!
Little ambition for a real European Energy future: The German program for it’s EU – presidency https://www.eu2020.de/eu2020-en
German Coal Phase out: Too late too expensive: last week’s decision by German Government to phase out Coal by 2038 largely insufficient and as many critics state largely overpaid. https://www.dw.com/en/germany-approves-coal-phaseout-by-2038/a-54040605
Measuring is key: ESMC participated at World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA)2nd Climate and Energy Benchmark: measures and ranks the world’s 50 most influential electric utilities companies on their transition to a low-carbon economy. Climate Analytics report that, as the highest emitting fuel, unabated coal use needs to be phased out in EU and other OECD countries by 2031 and the rest of the world by 2037. Electric utilities must commit to this phase-out to become the great enabler of the low-carbon era and achieve the Paris goals. One of the key findings is: More needed to power the growth of renewables. https://electricutilities.worldbenchmarkingalliance.org/
The European Parliament’s Regional Affairs Committee on the EU’s proposed €40 billion Just Transition Fund (JTF)
The European Parliament’s Regional Affairs Committee on the EU’s proposed €40 billion Just Transition Fund (JTF) Plan the inclusion of “natural” (=fossil) gas can be a crucial element for Coal areas, but heavy support of the Fossil gas cannot be the solution. The European Parliament plenary is expected to vote on the draft report and give the mandate for inter-institutional negotiations during its September sitting.
Pascal Canfin interview: EU must apply green finance taxonomy:“The taxonomy classifies technologies in three categories: 1) “green” technologies such as renewable energies, 2) those “enabling” the transition, such as glass for building insulation, and 3) so-called “transition” technologies. Gas falls under the third category.
What’s new in the news ?
Bloomberg BNEF understands much better that Solar is a key solution: In partnership with European Commission Coal Regions in Transition Platform, released together an in-depth analysis on Bulgaria, Czechia, Poland and Romania, showing how current market conditions and existing policies can accelerate the transition away from coal to cleaner, more affordable sources of energy: BNEF’s levelized cost of electricity analysis makes it clear that the most economic source for new bulk electricity generation in most markets is now wind or solar, rather than coal or gas – and Poland, Czechia, Romania and Bulgaria are no exception to this trend.” The study demands than 50 GW of new renewables (Solar and Wind) in the coming decade for these 4 countries only bringing -114.0 Mt of Co2 reduction! Renewables represent a 45 billion-euro investment opportunity over the next decade and could bring more than 45,000 associated jobs. https://data.bloomberglp.com/professional/sites/24/BNEF-white-paper-EU-coal-transition-Final-6-July.pdf
The World economic Forum outlines the dilemma in Finance in Europe and how to bridge the gap:
“Policy makers need to recognise how many renewable energy jobs can be created along each segment of the value chain, so they can design green recovery programmes that maximise regional and national value creation. From project planning and development to the manufacturing of equipment and components, from construction and installation to operations and maintenance, renewable energy projects entail a broad range of activities and thus offer considerable potential” https://www.irena.org/-/media/Files/IRENA/Agency/Publication/2020/Jun/IRENA_Post-COVID_Recovery_2020.pdf
Several times postponed now life with an interesting Online on the 14th and 15th July Program with several energy and digitalisation topics: Future minded like the real show in Hannover: https://hannovermesse.digital/en/program_overview/
Intersolar trade show will do a 2 days online event 14th and 15th July