Kick-off meeting of the PV IMPACT project (Brussels, 17 April 2019) gathers experts from eleven industry and research organizations to impulse the actual execution of the SET Plan Implementation Plan for Photovoltaics.

Project partners from eleven industry and research organizations met in Brussels on 17 April 2019 to kick-off the activities of the PV IMPACT project, a new Coordination and Support Action at European level funded under the Horizon 2020 programme. Running until March 2022, PV IMPACT will provide support for the execution of the PV Implementation Plan produced by the SET Plan Temporary Working Group (IWG-PV), that was endorsed by the SET Plan Steering Group in November 2017.

Advertisement

The European Commission, and many PV researchers in Europe, want to see the Implementation Plan influence not only Horizon 2020 / Horizon Europe spending, but the spending directly controlled by SET Plan countries and industry. In the ideal case, countries will create new possibilities outside of Horizon 2020 to fund transnational research and innovation work in the areas listed in it. But stimulating SET Plan country administrations ‘top-down’ is not the direct aim of this project – that is the prerogative of IWG-PV. PV IMPACT will complement that work by focusing on the private sector.

PV IMPACT, coordinated by EUREC (Belgium) will try out a variety of approaches to stimulate the private sector to spend more on PV research, development and innovation in Europe. Companies can support the Implementation Plan by working on projects with entirely private budget or by accepting some form of public subsidy. They might work on projects individually or collaboratively.

The first part of the project will focus on inviting companies to matchmaking events so they can make new connections and find partners with whom to work on their plans. The project will also target two specific industrial companies: one, ENEL Green Power, will try to make progress on the Implementation Plan by coordinating the many different PV actors in Italy; the other, Photowatt, will support start-ups and other companies aiming to achieve the objectives of the PV implementation Plan and, at the same time, will use the consortium's expertise and those of scientists whom it will invite to help make the right scientific & technological choices to enhance its industrial business competitiveness with the goal to provide highly reliable and low CO2 solar modules to the market

Another important part of the project is to monitor progress in PV. Data will be collected on public spending in the EU, on private spending, on the kinds of projects being funded and on the overall performance of PV technology. Forecasts for future spending will be made according to various scenarios. The project will track whether improvements in the performance of technology are keeping pace with expectations and will make recommendations to European funding authorities on how they can play their part in putting European PV technology back the top of the class if it is falling behind.