Solar Power Europe: 100 gigawatts PV as challenge for more – digitalization as opportunity

9/30/16, 8:53 AM -

Party mood, but also critical claims for more ambitious policies were the hallmark of the 100 GW celebration of Solar Power Europe last night in Brussel. An issue of concern is the planned removal of the priority dispatch of renewable electricity in the EU. Huawei stressed on the opportunities of digitalization also for quality assurance for PV installations.

EU Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič backed the Solar Power Europe event last night in Brussels through his presence, but demands for more ambitious policies in Europe dominated.

„We believe in the European market“, Guoguang Chen, General Manager, PV Inverter Business Europe of Huawei stressed and he referred to the recent expansion of its supply center in Eindhoven. Chen bunks on quality and innovations to further boost its European PV business.

Automatic failure detection

“Digitalization, integration and big data are the big drivers for PV”, Chen said. His vision are fully digitalized PV power plants. Chen referred to smart solutions the company offers in the field of automatic I-V curve failure detection. Huawei`s Neteco 2000/3000 software for its string inverters offers this function. Thereby operators of commercial and utility scale PV plants could save thousands of Euros each month by avoiding expensive on-site controls and ensuring better performance, Chen told pv Europe.

Modules prices below 0,40 Cents per watt

Chen sees the currently further dropping module prices as opportunity for more competitiveness of solar but also as challenge to hold quality. Backed by the recent exit of the big Chinese module manufacturers from the EU Price undertaking module prices in the EU recently dropped below 0,40 Eurocents per Watt, discussions at the event revealed.

At least 150 GW PV until 2020 in Europe

EU Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič expects that the costs of solar electricity in Europe will drop to 4 Eurocents per kilowatt-hour in the near future. Šefčovič, who is also responsible for the Energy Union, also stressed on the opportunities of PV for climate protection, stronger energy independence and the EU economy with a current added value of around 6 billion Euros. Until 2030 he expects an increase of the solar added value chain in Europe to at least 8 billion Euros and until 2020 at least 150 GW of installed photovoltaics in European countries.

Controversial removal of the priority dispatch for solar

Though Claude Turmes, green Member of the European Parliament, demanded for more. “We need far more ambitious EU policies” he stressed, a claim that was backed by many participants of the event. In particular he warned against the planned removal of the priority dispatch for solar electricity and other renewable power in the EU. According to Alexandre Roesch, Policy Director of Solar Power Europe this is currently discussed in the coming “Winter Package” of the EU. “If the priority dispatch would be skipped we see the danger that even more renewable power would be curtailed”, he told pv Europe. (HCN)

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