In 18 January 2022 the EC Directorate-General for Energy launched an initiative “Public consultation to feed into new EU strategy on solar energy”, which was open until 12th April 2022. The initiative looked at “how best to achieve the required increase in solar energy capacity. It underlines that the cost-efficient development of this technology within a more integrated energy system cannot be sufficiently achieved by EU countries alone and seeks to clarify what measures are needed.
In a series of 26 questions, the consultation is seeking input on the main bottlenecks and barriers to investment under existing rules. In this sense, it looks at policy measures from three different objectives:
- Accelerating deployment through demand-side measures to deliver on the 2030 renewable targets;
- Ensuring secure supplies of affordable and sustainable solar energy products through supply-side measures, including high sustainability standards and global photovoltaic supply chain resilience;
- Maximising the socio-economic benefits, potential and value of solar energy for wider society.”
Unfortunately, the questionnaire fell short to address the entire solar energy sector, as most of the questions were dedicated to PV. As such, ESTELA, CIEMAT, Protermosolar, Deutsche CSP and DLR prepared a coordinated response to this consultation across entities involved in the CSP sector. The purpose of this initiative was to achieve an improved design of the consultation itself or at least to get the potential of CSP correctly reflected in the “new EU strategy on solar energy”. In order to achieve this, a document ”For new, but inclusive EU strategy on solar energy” was drafted, received endorsement from 28 industry and R&I stakeholders and was included in the stakeholders’ response to the initiative as a separate document.
The first draft of “EU solar energy strategy” is expected by the end of May 2022 or beginning of June 2022.