Published on 12/05/2020

Solar Europe Now : for a photovoltaic Europe

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Unity is strenght
The Solar Europe Now coalition brings together more than 90 members of the European solar photovoltaic value chain from 15 European countries. Convinced that solar energy is critical to reach climate-neutrality by 2050, the coalition includes research centers and industry representatives from all over Europe, including ARMOR’s branch armor solar power films and its organic photovoltaic films ASCA®. Members of the Solar Europe Now coalition are calling on the European institutions to better recognise the strategic value of solar PV in upcoming climate, research & innovation and sustainable finance initiatives. Solar Europe Now is committed to working alongside European decision- makers to discuss opportunities to shed some sunlight on the Green Deal and stimulate Europe’s solar PV production capacity.

The importance of photovoltaics in the European energy mix
All future energy scenarios developed by the EU to achieve climate objectives by 2050 foresee a key role for solar photovoltaic energy[1]. Europe must ensure development of a strong solar industry to guarantee its global competitivity. At an international scale, solar is the cheapest energetic technology and one which commands the most investments. Photovoltaic growth is substantial : it will cover 15% of the EU electricity demand by 2030, five times more than its current share in renewable energy. This is possible thanks to European research centers which dedicate themselves to development of cutting-edge industrial solutions along the photovoltaic value chain. ARMOR is one of the spearheads. The company allocates a large part of its business and its turnover to R&D : since the launch of its photovoltaic activity in 2008, ARMOR has invested € 100 millions in research and development. Together, research centers and companies are paving the way for a renaissance in globally competitive European industrial photovoltaic production. The overall annual global turnover of the European PV industry is currently estimated at € 5 billion. The sector's strong capacity for economic growth and job creation justifies setting ambitious targets in the post-Covid industrial recovery plans, up to € 4 billion, just for France.

We have to get out of the purely financial logic that has led to deindustrialise Europe. We need a real New Deal à la Roosevelt which assumes the promotion of manufacturing in France and in Europe and supports Research & Development, including during the industrialisation and large-scale deployment stage, beyond laboratory prototypes. This implies massive purchases of films by the state and local communities to solarize public facilities, and large-scale partnerships with the main contractors, energy companies and private landowners. This can also go through more stringent criteria in the tender specifications, in particular with a local employment component for example. Politica will be key to reviving a solar industry. "explains Hubert de Boisredon, President and CEO of ARMOR. “Already engaged in this European project, ARMOR acquired in 2019 the German company Opvius. At our industrial site in Nantes (Loire-atlantique, France), we produce ASCA® organic photovoltaic films in large quantities and the Opvius teams finish them, in particular with the laser engraving technique. It’s a beautiful symbol of what European collaboration can achieve. " concludes Boisredon.

[1] Commission Communication ‘A Clean Planet for All: A European strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy’ (COM(2018) 773), 28 November 2018 (link) and ‘In depth analysis in support of the Commission communication’ 28 November 2018 (link)