Conference «Supporting the Next IPCEI European Champions in Solar Industry»

On Monday 21st November, the Official Spanish Chamber of Commerce in Belgium and Luxembourg organised the conference “Supporting the Next IPCEI European Champions in Solar Industry”, in collaboration with the Chamber’s member company Schuman Associates. More than 20 companies from the solar and photovoltaic energy sector from all over Europe participated in the conference, that took place online.

The key speakers were Víctor Marcos, Director of Renewable Energies at the Spanish Government’s Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving (IDAE); Demos Spatharis, Head of Unit IPCEI, Environment and Innovation at the European Commission’s Directorate for Competition; Žygimantas Vaičiūnas, Executive Policy Advisor at the European Solar Manufacturing Council; and Anca Wlizlo, Head of Investment, Financing and Strategic Consulting (specialised in IPCEI, H2 and PV projects) at Schuman Associates.

To open the conference, Víctor Marcos explained how the project would fit into component 3 of the Recovery Plan (Just and Inclusive Energy Transition), talked about the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) for renewable energies and the importance of the EU Solar Strategy and the REPowerEU Plan, as well as Spain’s growing role in the solar and photovoltaic sector.

Demos Spatharis then detailed, from a more technical perspective, the process of approval by the European Commission of an IPCEI, referring to past projects and their characteristics, with particular emphasis on meeting the requirements of transparency, ambition, competitiveness, and cross-border cooperation.

Later, Žygimantas Vaičiūnas explained the position of the European Solar Manufacturing Council (ESMC) on the IPCEI PV, discussing the key objectives of the project, the possibilities for its financing, its timeframe, as well as the main challenges. In addition, Vaičiūnas mentioned existing projects in the PV sector.

Finally, Anca Wlizlo focused on the steps to be taken to prepare the proposal to set up the photovoltaic IPCEI, explaining the importance of the project and listing the different points to be taken into account: ambition, innovation, cooperation and dissemination.

At the end of the conference, participants had the opportunity to ask questions and share their interests and opinions with the four speakers.