With the SOPHIA Research Infrastructure project now coming to an end, we need to optimize our strategy. SOPHIA focused on 8 PV topics with 20 European partners, and the results achieved after 4 years of activity in trans-national access, networking, training and R&D can provide valuable “lessons learned”.
Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy is a large, rapidly developing industry. Photovoltaic technology is poised to help Europe make good on its goal of sourcing 20% of its energy needs from renewable energy by 2020. Recent progress has led to rising efficiencies, better reliability and falling prices. Improving solar cell efficiency while keeping costs low are the main challenges for further maturity and uptake of the technology. Commercial solar modules generally have efficiencies of 15%, which means about one-sixth of the sunlight striking a module generates electricity. At the end of 2010, about 38 GW of grid-connected solar photovoltaic power will be installed globally, which can produce about 40 TWh of electricity on a yearly basis. Europe,meanwhile, has a cumulative installed capacity of more than 25 GW, making it the largest world market.
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SPG Europe brings together all major players in the European PV market looking at key issues affecting the downstream supply chain. Key themes will include optimising performance, minimising costs, increasing supply chain efficiency through contracting and best practice in the management of solar assets.
The renewable energy industry accounted for 6.5 million jobs globally in 2013, with solar photovoltaic and wind power remaining the most dynamic energy technologies, according to the Renewable Energy and Jobs Annual Review 2014, produced by the International Renewable Energy Agency.
The European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) took place from 23 to 27 June 2014. Launched in 2006 as an initiative of the European Commission, the EUSEW has become a reference point for public authorities, energy agencies, private companies, NGOs and industry associations engaged in helping to meet the EU’s energy and climate goals. This year, the High-Level Policy Conference (HLPC) of the EUSEW featured a dedicated session on “Funding innovative low-carbon technologies: the NER 300 programme” on 26 of June.
The two-day Solar Operations & Maintenance Conference and exhibition will bring together asset managers, asset owners, investors and service providers from across Europe. The conference will focus on management and maximisation of financial returns from solar PV assets through optimised O&M and asset management.
The ECM2 symposium will deal with energy challenges and cover multiple disciplines in technology, science, management and policymaking. The conference technical programme includes parallel sessions on various forms of renewable energy, from photovoltaics to geothermal energy. The discussions will also touch on issues related to energy efficiency, safety and the environment.