EU PVSEC Celebrates The Solar Revolution

This month saw the 26th annual European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (26th EU PVSEC), an event which drew over 40,000 PV professionals from around the world to Hamburg, Germany for a four-day celebration of the role solar power will play in shaping the future of Europe’s energy mix.
According the European Commission, organiser and sponsor of EU PVSEC, Europe deployed an estimated 14 gigawatts (GW) of combined installed capacity of solar technology in the last year, and hope remains that the continent can reach its 2020 100GW solar target as outlined in member states’ National Renewable Energy Action Plans.
"Alone in Europe we are looking to install 45,000 MW PV to meet the renewable energy targets which is a doubling from today. The PV industry has shown that it will be robust enough to deploy large scale PV and PV in buildings to meet the targets," said Dr. Heinz Ossenbrink, Conference General Chairman, European Commission, during an address to conference delegates.
1,500 scientific and technical exhibitions showcasing the very latest in solar PV products were on display in the nine vast halls dedicated to the conference. Nearly 1000 international companies presented PV technologies ranging from the latest in concentrated PV, with energy conversion rates of 40 percent, to new research into advanced organic solar modules.
Market forecasts consistently underestimated growth in the global PV sector and the potential of solar industry jobs to help fight the current recession, said Dr. Arnulf Jäger-Waldau, Technical Programme Chairman, EC, during his summary of the conference.
"Forecasts for 2011 are reported to be above 20 GW, driven by the increasing number of markets in the GW range. So far each PV forecast [and] future PV scenarios will have to be continuously readjusted to reflect the great advances of the sector."
The 26th EU PVSEC coincided with the European Photovoltaic Industry Association’s (EPIA) Photovoltaic Investor’s Day, a round-table of the solar PV world’s richest investment firms, including Google, European Investment Bank and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
EPIA President Ingmar Wilhelm said declining costs in PV materials coupled with innovations in new solar technologies were creating an “ideal climate” for investment in the clean energy market.
"For investors interested in the promise of solar power, the time to act is now," he said.