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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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.
There has been a rapid growth in demand for raw materials in recent years. The supply of some of these materials into the market has been constrained by the policies of major producers. This has led to much concern worldwide, especially in the EU, where many industries have come to rely on materials that have an associated supply risk.
The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), together with the European Distribution System Operators’ Association for Smart Grids (EDSO for Smart Grids), is organising a grid management conference: ‘PV and Flexible Distribution Grid Management – Collective Power for Europe’.
The conference will be held during EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), which is taking place on 23-27 June 2014, and will focus on PV and flexible distribution grid management.