Continuing the overview on the Industry Initiatives included in the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan), this post focuses on the use of solar energy through photovoltaic technology for the production of electricity, and most particularly on the 2010-2012 implementation plan for the Solar Industry Initiative.
The implementation plan describes the immediate actions needed to achieve the goals set forward for 2020 in the European Commission's Photovoltaic Roadmap, namely the R&D steps required to enable rapid large-scale deployment of photovoltaics at minimum cost and maximum benefit for society.
The implementation plan identifies two major initiatives to enable the large-scale deployment of photovoltaics:
- Reducing photovoltaic electricity generation costs through technology progress, experience and economies of scale;
- Integrating photovoltaic electricity into the European Grid.
The R&D actions for Cost Reduction will focus on improving manufacturability, materials development, and enhancing performance. R&D will also be conducted to advance grid integration, large-scale grid integration analysis, and solar resources prediction and monitoring. The R&D actions will be followed by demonstration projects to enable the replication and large scale implementation of the results. These projects will include the large integration of PV in urban areas, grid integration of distributed photovoltaic power generation, and last scale demonstration of new concepts and technologies.
Besides the efforts of the photovoltaic sector, the success of the Solar Energy Industry Initiative will also depend on the Electricity Grid Initiative, as well as on the development of other technologies, such as electricity storage, electrical vehicles, demand side management and smart grids.
Although not included in the European Industrial Initiative, the need for an education and training program has been pointed as a requirement to avoid a shortage of qualified professionals, such as project engineers and installers, and to keep the leadership of the European industry. The importance of awareness and communication activities has also been recognized for the dissemination of the benefits of photovoltaics near the general public and important stakeholders, including policy-makers, utilities, architects, and the construction sector.
Source: Solar Energy Industry Initiative 2010-2012 implementation plan.