By 2030, Italy plans to increase its share of PV-generated energy from the current 24TWh/year to 75TWh/year, thus aiming to cover with solar energy 25% of total electricity demand. This goal is inherently sustainable from a financial standpoint, since PV is already the most affordable energy source in many countries, while it poses no significant impact on land use.
Enel Green Power, already a leading player in Europe’s solar PV market, couldn’t miss out on the chance to play a pivotal role in this shifting trend, as it determined to be a co-initiator in Europe’s PV IMPACT project, which launched in April 2019 and is slated to end by March 2022.
What is PV IMPACT about?
Eleven countries from the EU, featuring Italy, Germany and France, have set up a five-year strategic investment plan in Research & Innovation for the Solar PV sector.
The plan falls within the overarching R&I development strategy outlined by the European Union’s SET (Strategic Energy Technology) Plan, aiming to reinstate Europe as the global leader in renewables.
The implementation plan for the PV sector was drawn up by a workgroup comprising representatives from EU member states, the European Commission, the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV), together with stakeholders from industry and research sectors. It received its final seal of approval on November 2017.
PV IMPACT is a coordination project, financed by the European Commission and tasked with promoting all initiatives called for the implementation plan and monitoring its progress and achieved goals.
Enel Green Power is one of three Italian co-initiators of the project (together with EURAC Research from Bolzano and CNR - Italy’s National Centre for Research) and it will be responsible with converging businesses, research centres, universities and investors towards project initiatives with a far-reaching impact on industry, the economy and scientific progress. Above all, such products would have to comply with national, European and global goals in the fight to overt climate change.
A fundamental part of the project will be focused on setting up technical and strategic meetings (matchmaking events) attended by businesses and workers from public and private sectors, engaging in research and innovation activities to create new connections while facilitating the emergence of new products and processes in the PV sector.
“Enel Green Power, besides being the natural end-user of R&I activities as a leading player in Europe’s PV sector, will also play the role of a true and trusted catalyst for new initiatives called out by SET Plan and its implementation plan. Our innovation Hub&Lab in Catania will be the focal point of Italy’s R&I operators of the photovoltaic sector, where new ideas and new R&I project initiatives of strategic interest will be put in place together with other European partners.”
– Fabrizio Bizzarri, Enel Green Power Head of Solar Innovation
PV IMPACT in Italy
The Italian partners of PV IMPACT will play a crucial role from a strategic standpoint. Italy’s R&I network has already actively contributed in identifying two strategic programs of our country:
- The value chain for integrated photovoltaics in buildings, and overall, for all electricity-powered products (BIPV/PIPV)
- Solar PV plants to generate and sell electricity on a broad scale, coordinated directly by Enel Green Power
Proposals for integrated projects, jointly developed by the whole network, will participate in call for tenders and financing programs at national, regional and, ultimately, at a European level.
The first initiative from PV IMPACT already in the pipeline is the real-time sharing of information on project activities undergoing in Italy, focusing especially on research and innovation.
The second part, although no less important, consists in monitoring the progress of SET’s implementation plan in the photovoltaic sector.
PV IMPACT is keen on demonstrating how investments and a sensible industrial strategy are just one side of the energy transition towards a renewables-based economy that can make a real impact on tackling climate change. The other facet is represented by the common commitment and determination to foster the development of increasingly effective technologies and EGP is at the forefront in this pivotal endeavor.