Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Word of the Secretary General

It’s the Economy AND the Planet, stupid!

It’s the Economy AND the Planet, stupid!

Dear friends of European Solar Manufacturing!
In troubling times, with worries about the health and jobs for a lot of citizens we should do the maths. Back in 1992 the word of “It’s the Economy, stupid” became a key element of Bill Clinton’s campaign to win the American presidency. But there had been 2 more elements: “change against more of the same” and “don’t forget health care”. Health care and change need to be combined in our worries for our climate future, so René Cattin, friend of impressive Greta Thunberg, draw a cartoon crossing Economy and changing it against “planet”.
I guess we all agree that we need to make change, so that economy and the care for the planet need to go together. It’s upon us to harmonize both. Integrating externalities is the key, or like our slogan with Brussels based think-tank “Green Budget Europe” was: “Tax bads not goods”. Last year higher CO2 prices heavily pushed Coal electricity out of the European Grid. Even in the heartlands of Coal, Germany and Poland, it becomes more expensive to burn coal for electricity.
At ESMC we are very happy about the recent announcements to bring back large-scale European PV production to Europe. We congratulate Voltec-SolarSystovi and Meyer Burger for their courage to move on towards the right direction. We need more of this entrepreneur-spirit!
This follows the joint initiative “Solar Manufacturing Accelerator” by SolarPower Europe, VDMA, ETIP-PV, IPVF and ESMC to push for more European production. More to come soon.
Please join us in September for our 7 Wednesday sessions of the Solar Industry Forum, hosted jointly by SOLARUNITED, Becquerel Institute, ETIP-PV, ETA-Florence Renewable Energies and ESMC.

In this newsletter we added 2 new parts:
“Once upon a time…”, a review of historic events or publications. Today let’s have a look at Angela Merkel’s 2007 program for her 1st EU presidency with 2 cartoon comments by Horst Haitzinger: The ambition of the 2007 program would fit as well the 2020 program, that has almost no vision for renewables, so let us hope for the real hard facts coming from Chancellor Merkel. It is a unique chance to have two friends at the head of Europe! During the Corona crisis some research institutes stated that countries run by female heads of state were doing better. Let us hope for the best for a “REAL European Green Deal”, current version of Green Hydrogen and Off-shore wind is clearly not enough.
2nd is “the Sun in our mind” The sun has always inspired a lot of poets, artists and philosophers. This time ESMC has been to Potsdam “Sans-Souci” (no worries) Chateau by Frederick the Great, close of famous French philosopher Voltaire. Frederick made huge progress for Prussia in watching the effects of environment, using improved technology…

Let me finish by the words of António Guterres, Secretary-General United Nations:
The seeds of change are there.
Let us embrace the vast opportunity of a clean energy future.

Sunny regards
Andre Langwost,
Secretary General 
European Solar Manufacturing Council

No lost Battle! European Solar is the answer !

No lost Battle! European Solar is the answer !

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.”

Andre Langwost,
Secretary General 
European Solar Manufacturing Council

The Sun always in our mind…

The Sun always in our mind…

Over the century the sun always has influenced our creative spirits. The ESMC is publishing in every newsletter an image of the sun. This time:

The Sun in Potsdam, close to Berlin.
Next to Schloss Sanssouci, famous summer chalet by Friedrich 2nd, close friend of the famous French philosopher Voltaire. Friedrich hosted and supported Voltaire when he fell into disgrace in his homeland. Inspiring their more than 800 letters discussing philosophy and history of the time.
  

Potsdam, Schloss Sans Soucis, August 2020, © Andre Langwost

One upon a time…

One upon a time…

Famous philosopher Georg Hegel (1770-1831) said: “From the history of peoples we can learn that peoples have learned nothing from history.” But with this new ESMC-Newsletter part we at least can try…
Chancellor Angela Merkel is among the very few heading a 2nd time the European council. Let’s look back what has been in her program back in 2007: 
“Ensuring secure, environmentally sound and competitive energy supplies. Secure, environmentally sound and competitive energy supplies are a prerequisite for Europe’s positive economic development. It is becoming increasingly difficult to guarantee it: factors include the finite nature of fossil fuels against a background of growing global demand, persistently high oil and gas prices, growing instability in certain regions of the world and the effects of climate change. In view of these challenges, the adoption of the European Energy Policy Action Plan will be a priority for the Spring 2007 European Council.”
Out of the official program (German Version available here)

The Solar Manufacturing Accelerator


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

“Save the French solar industry!” Article published by our member Voltec Solar

“Save the French solar industry!” Article published by our member Voltec Solar

“While the PPE (the new energy roadmap) sets the objective of increasing from 10GW to 44.5GW of solar energy production by 2028, it is estimated that today 80% of solar panels installed in France are made in China. There is currently a real paradox in wanting to deploy a renewable energy policy at very low cost while pleading for French (re) industrialization. We must put an end to this antagonistic posture by definitively reconciling renewable energies and French industry, ecology and social issues.”

Read more about the French solar industry : https://www.usinenouvelle.com/article/avis-d-expert-sauver-la-filiere-solaire-francaise.N1016274

The Sun always in our mind…

The Sun always in our mind…

Over the century the sun always has influenced our creative spirits. The ESMC is publishing in every newsletter an image of the sun. This time:

The Sun in Potsdam, close to Berlin.
Next to Schloss Sanssouci, famous summer chalet by Friedrich 2nd, close friend of the famous French philosopher Voltaire. Friedrich hosted and supported Voltaire when he fell into disgrace in his homeland. Inspiring their more than 800 letters discussing philosophy and history of the time.
  

Potsdam, Schloss Sans Soucis, August 2020, © Andre Langwost

One upon a time…

One upon a time…

Famous philosopher Georg Hegel (1770-1831) said: “From the history of peoples we can learn that peoples have learned nothing from history.” But with this new ESMC-Newsletter part we at least can try…
Chancellor Angela Merkel is among the very few heading a 2nd time the European council. Let’s look back what has been in her program back in 2007: 
“Ensuring secure, environmentally sound and competitive energy supplies. Secure, environmentally sound and competitive energy supplies are a prerequisite for Europe’s positive economic development. It is becoming increasingly difficult to guarantee it: factors include the finite nature of fossil fuels against a background of growing global demand, persistently high oil and gas prices, growing instability in certain regions of the world and the effects of climate change. In view of these challenges, the adoption of the European Energy Policy Action Plan will be a priority for the Spring 2007 European Council.”
Out of the official program (German Version available here)

Berlin Research Institute DIW published: “European Green Deal: Using Ambitious Climate Targets and Renewable Energy to Climb out of the Economic Crisis”

Berlin Research Institute DIW published: “European Green Deal: Using Ambitious Climate Targets and Renewable Energy to Climb out of the Economic Crisis”

The EU Green Deal is a chance for Europe, if we take it seriously. “The emission reductions target must be increased from 40 percent to 65 percent compared to 1990 levels. Fossil and nuclear power plants must be completely substituted with 100 percent renewable energy sources. Compared to the current course, over 60 billion tons of CO2 could be saved as a result. Expansive investments must be made to build a solid basis for the current national and EU-level economic stimulus packages. Investments in renewable energy require around 3,000 billion euros; however, they are accompanied by savings of almost 2,000 billion euros from not importing fossil fuels.”

New paper from Agora Energiewende: “Recovering better” –  More Solar and “European Solar Manufacturing” as an Industry Sector Flagship

New paper from Agora Energiewende: “Recovering better” – More Solar and “European Solar Manufacturing” as an Industry Sector Flagship

Priorities are tripling the speed for creating new solar and wind energy and a “To meet Europe’s increased renewable energy targets it is essential to boost solar manufacturing capacity in the EU. According to the European solar industry the total needed investment for developing 6 GW-scale manufacturing projects between now and 2022 is at least one billion euros. The strategic investment facility could support cost-competitive financing solutions to invest in new PV manufacturing projects. “
“A green infrastructure fund for renewables to fund solar in the South (…) to address the remaining investment and financing gap in the power sector (144 billion euros), the budget should include a green infrastructure fund for renewables with a specific focus on solar PV in Southern Europe (…). The fund would be administrated by the EIB and receive 10 billion euros annually for two years mainly to finance loans with a medium to high leverage factor”.
ESMC hopes the EIB will read it 😉


What’s new in the news ?

Berlin Research Institute DIW published: “European Green Deal: Using Ambitious Climate Targets and Renewable Energy to Climb out of the Economic Crisis”

Berlin Research Institute DIW published: “European Green Deal: Using Ambitious Climate Targets and Renewable Energy to Climb out of the Economic Crisis”

The EU Green Deal is a chance for Europe, if we take it seriously. “The emission reductions target must be increased from 40 percent to 65 percent compared to 1990 levels. Fossil and nuclear power plants must be completely substituted with 100 percent renewable energy sources. Compared to the current course, over 60 billion tons of CO2 could be saved as a result. Expansive investments must be made to build a solid basis for the current national and EU-level economic stimulus packages. Investments in renewable energy require around 3,000 billion euros; however, they are accompanied by savings of almost 2,000 billion euros from not importing fossil fuels.”

New paper from Agora Energiewende: “Recovering better” –  More Solar and “European Solar Manufacturing” as an Industry Sector Flagship

New paper from Agora Energiewende: “Recovering better” – More Solar and “European Solar Manufacturing” as an Industry Sector Flagship

Priorities are tripling the speed for creating new solar and wind energy and a “To meet Europe’s increased renewable energy targets it is essential to boost solar manufacturing capacity in the EU. According to the European solar industry the total needed investment for developing 6 GW-scale manufacturing projects between now and 2022 is at least one billion euros. The strategic investment facility could support cost-competitive financing solutions to invest in new PV manufacturing projects. “
“A green infrastructure fund for renewables to fund solar in the South (…) to address the remaining investment and financing gap in the power sector (144 billion euros), the budget should include a green infrastructure fund for renewables with a specific focus on solar PV in Southern Europe (…). The fund would be administrated by the EIB and receive 10 billion euros annually for two years mainly to finance loans with a medium to high leverage factor”.
ESMC hopes the EIB will read it 😉

The IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit 9th July gathered more than 40 ministers with more than 500.000 people watching the event

The IEA Clean Energy Transitions Summit 9th July gathered more than 40 ministers with more than 500.000 people watching the event

Even Mr. Fatih Birol, Executive Director of International Energy Agency IEA was overwhelmed by the number of participants: More than 500.000 people being online of the important event. With wise words from António Guterres, Secretary-General United Nations: Renewable energy is the only energy source expected to grow in 2020, Renewables offer three times more jobs than the fossil fuel industry. A lot of the other statements from the top-level speakers in favour of Solar PV.

New big player in the French solar manufacturing landscape

New big player in the French solar manufacturing landscape

French module manufacturing company Voltec Solar, member of the ESMC, plans to join forces with another French module manufacturer, Systovi, to increase together their production capacity to 1 GW. The project, called Belenos (in reference to the Gallic sun god), could start in 2021 and has a business volume target of around €250 million within five years.

In the meantime, announcements from China in the double-digit GW manufacturing range continue, with the recent examples of Risen EnergySuntech and Aiko Solar.

Meyer Burger on its way for its strategic transformation: New CEO Gunter Erfurt goes GW scale in Europe!

Meyer Burger on its way for its strategic transformation: New CEO Gunter Erfurt goes GW scale in Europe!

Following the announcement made in June about its strategy to transform itself from a PV equipment manufacturer to a European solar cell and module manufacturer, Meyer Burger has achieved several steps towards its objective during the last weeks. The Swiss company has secured shareholder approval for CHF 165 Million capital increase and has confirmed its acquisition of the former factory of PV panel manufacturer SolarWorld in Freiberg, where it will annually produce 400 MW of PV modules using its proprietary Heterojunction/SmartWire Connection Technology (HJT/SWCT). The expected annual output by 2026 at the facility will be 5 GW.
A recent report established by Fraunhofer ISE said Meyer Burger’s HJT/SWCT has a technological lead of at least 3 years over its global competitors and is ready for the market as a lucrative option thanks to its favorable price/cost ratio.

The European PV industry continues to announce manufacturing expansion …

The European PV industry continues to announce manufacturing expansion, coming from existing actors, as well as newcomers, some promising projects have been on display for the Solar Manufacturing Accelerator (SoMA), early July. Most promising are the announcements these days of Meyer Burger switching to manufacturing, and Voltec Solar partnering for 1 GW of module manufacturing; they highlight the dynamism of existing players in Europe.

Bloomberg BNEF understands much better that Solar is a key solution

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

Green Jobs a key for a Post Corona Recovery IRENA states

“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


Recommended Events