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Solar photovoltaic power essential to meet the 20% renewable energy target


28 Sep 2009


Climate & Environment

HAMBURG, Sept. 24, 2009 – Despite the global economic downturn, solar photovoltaic power retains huge, largely untapped potential to help Europe meet its energy and environmental goals.

Fundamentals of the Photovoltaic Industry remain strong
“The fundamentals of the PV industry are and remain strong, as indicated in our SET for 2020 study,” said Adel El Gammal, Secretary General of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) at the 6th European Photovoltaic (PV) Industry Forum held on 23 September in Hamburg. It needs an ambitious policy support for the next 3 to 9 years, until photovoltaic power is able to compete with conventional electricity on price.

PV Industry Forum participants discussed the findings of SET For 2020, a major study commissioned by EPIA from the strategic management consultancy AT Kearney. The study concludes that photovoltaic power can supply as much as 12% of Europe’s electricity needs by 2020, assuming appropriate policy-driven support and evolution in the set-up and functioning of the electricity distribution system. This high-growth scenario will substantially fill the gap to reach 20% renewables by 2020.

Feed-in tariff leads to cost reduction of PV Participants underlined the success of the feed-in-tariff scheme in countries such as Germany, France, Italy and many others in creating a strong, growing solar energy sector; promoting continuous cost reductions and accelerating the achievement of grid parity. European countries with feed-in-tariffs have created vibrant photovoltaic industries, created 130,000 green jobs and are already making a significant contribution to the reduction of greenhouse gases.

“On the eve of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, European Union governments must accelerate the deployment of photovoltaic power generation to meet their energy and climate objectives,” said El Gammal.

“For Europe to meet the 20% renewable target by 2020, EU Member States should give a central role to solar PV when preparing their national Renewable Energy Action Plans”, said Winfried Hoffmann, EPIA President. These plans are due to be delivered by June 2010.

Sustainability is the motto of the European PV industry

Participants underlined strong industry support for high sustainability (economical, environmental, and social) standards across the whole PV value chain; the promotion of best practices and a level playing field. High standards promote investment and innovation that are key to a competitive European PV industry. Effective collaboration between research and industry has led Europe to the forefront of technology. It must now be ensured that volume growth can be developed for all companies in a fair competition.

“We’re calling for a strong commitment from European governments to put in place all measures necessary to make possible the rapid deployment of photovoltaic power. Reaching Europe’s climate objectives requires a dramatic increase in energy production from renewable sources,” concluded Hoffmann.
PRESS CONTACT: Marie Latour – Tel + 32 4 79 202959 – email
About EPIA: With over 200 members active along the whole value chain, the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) is the world’s largest industry association devoted to the solar photovoltaic electricity market.
For more information about SET For 2020, visit


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