Over the past decades, the renewable generation of electricity by photovoltaic solar energy (PV) has come down in costs dramatically and is now economically competitive with conventional generation using fossil fuels or nuclear reactors in an increasing number of markets. Convinced that solar electricity will play a dominant role in the energy supply of 2050 and given the leading role held by European research institutes in the development of PV technology, awardees of the Becquerel Prize collectively drew up a resolution. At the largest European photovoltaic conference, the 35th EU PVSEC in Brussels, the award-winning European scientists collectively expressed their concern that the European photovoltaic industry is threatened to be lost due to the strong competition from Asia. In particular, this pertains to the cell and module production, which makes up a large part of the value chain. This loss presents a strategic risk to the future electricity supply of Europe.
The resolution drawn up by the Becquerel awardees covers four essential points: All governments in Europe (i.e. in the EU including GB, and also in Norway and Switzerland) should set down the boundary conditions for a new large-scale European PV production along the entire PV value chain. The governments of all European countries should actively carry out measures to support the deployment of PV, through tariff policies or fiscal incentives or through legislative measures mandating the integration of PV in all new buildings. The European Commission should rapidly implement an eco-label which includes recycling criteria for PV modules in order to appreciate the value of sustainable products. Finally, the EU research policy should support the recreation and expansion of a European photovoltaic industry, among other things through the next call for tenders in the Horizon2020 Europe Program.
Text of the resolution with the names of the signees: https://http://www.ise.fraunhofer.de/en/press-media/news/2018/becquerel-prize-recipients-appeal-to-decision-makers.html