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ROUND TABLE DEBATES

A) Corporate Sourcing of Solar Power

 

  • Current trends, barriers and opportunities in corporate sourcing of solar power
  • Identify how SolarPower Europe could help improve the policy framework and could support market adoption
  • Derive the content focus of the SolarPower Europe Working Group on Corporate Sourcing of Solar Power.

Many businesses have already committed to meet their energy demand with growing shares of renewables and this trend is set to increase dramatically over the coming years.

The benefits associated with cost competitive renewable energy and long term fixed prices now make solar power an attractive option for corporates and other large energy consumers.

There are however significant barriers still in place to the rapid adoption of this relatively new, cost effective and clean energy procurement opportunity.


B) Digitalisation

  • What are the opportunities and barriers for solar that arise from smart meters, smart buildings and smart grids?
  • What will Solar Industry 4.0 look like, and how can we improve our own processes?
  • How will digital technology connect solar PV with other small-scale generation and demand response to form fully aggregated Virtual Power Plants?
  • How can Blockchain technology fundamentally change how electricity markets operate?

The energy sector has begun a fundamental transformation from the old analog system to fully digital network. Solar PV has a huge amount to gain from this, with new ways of selling, controlling and gaining revenue from 'smart PV' emerging from a digitalised electricity ecosystem.

What are the opportunities and barriers for solar that arise from smart meters, smart buildings and smart grids, and how can more digital solar offerings help projects increase profitability? What will Solar Industry 4.0 look like, and how can we improve our own processes? How will digital technology connect solar PV with other small-scale generation and demand response to form fully aggregated Virtual Power Plants? And how can Blockchain technology fundamentally change how electricity markets operate?
 

The roundtable will also include a presentation of the work of the SolarPower Europe Digitalisation Task Force and a discussion of what regulatory asks are needed to fully digitalise the solar PV ecosystem.


C) Round table on Ecodesign

  • What would you expect from an eco-design process?
  • How can eco-design measures be made useful for the solar industry?
  • What are your views on the best mix of policy options (component vs. system requirements, interaction with an Ecolabel)?
  • Which aspects do you think should be carefully assessed during the eco-design process?

The European Commission presented on 30 November 2016 its new Ecodesign Working Plan 2016-2019 which includes "solar panels and inverters" as a new product group.

This could ultimately lead to the development of mandatory eco-design requirements for solar panels and inverters. The eco-design legal framework defines minimum criteria for the placing of products on the EU 28 market and provides the basis for an energy labelling of products (A to G label) meant to better inform end-consumers.
 
This roundtable will provide you with an overview of the eco-design process. It will also give you an opportunity to share your expectations and experience with regard to eco-design.


D) Operation & Maintenance

  • What are the main challenges in O&M?
  • What are the benefits that best practices and standardisation can bring to the different players in the industry such as O&M Contractors, Asset Managers, Asset Owners, Financers?
  • What strategy should be followed to disseminate best practices and standardized processes in O&M?

Acknowledging the emerging importance of Operations and Maintenance (O&M) for the future technical and economic performance of the PV systems and plants, SolarPower Europe together with its members, has developed a Best Practices Guidelines to serve as the foundation for standardisation of O&M in the solar industry.

In 2017, SolarPower Europe is looking to further improve and disseminate these Guidelines in Europe and in emerging markets like India and Africa. SolarPower Europe is also leading the O&M working stream of the Solar Energy Standardisation Initiative (SESI), a joint initiative of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the Terawatt Initiative (TWI).
 
This roundtable will provide you with an overview of the importance of best practices of O&M and the activities of SolarPower Europe planned for 2017. It will also give you an opportunity to share your expectations and experience regarding O&M.


E) Roundtable on Solar & Storage

  • Why solar & storage is ready to penetrate the market today?
  • What trends foster the uptake of solar & storage and what can solar & storage bring to the system?
  • What are the 5 most critical elements that solar & storage needs to really disrupt our energy system?

Solar and storage is the perfect fit to facilitate bringing penetration of solar power to the next growth level in Europe, to achieve 2030 RES targets and flexibility requests across the EU.

To allow the combination of solar and storage to provide its full potential, SolarPower Europe's Task Force on Solar & Storage developed 10 policy priorities prior to the Commission's "Clean Energy for all Europeans" proposals.
 
The Task Force has now assessed how the European Commission's legislative proposals address our policy asks.

The round table on solar & storage strives to discuss the status of solar and storage in the legislative process as well as the policy priorities we need to push to unleash the full capabilities of solar & storage.


F) Roundtable On-Grid Solar in Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Why on-grid solar is starting to take off in Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • Where are the most attractive on-grid markets in Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • How to overcome barriers that slow-down on-grid markets in Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • How to find the right project and financing partner?

Grid-connected solar power is starting to making its inroads into the Sub-Sharan countries of the African Continent - from commercial systems for captive use to large utility-scale PV plants.

There are, however, several obstacles that hinder low-cost solar power from reaching its full potential, including missing policy frameworks, standards, financing schemes.


The round table on grid-connected solar in Sub-Saharan Africa offers participants the opportunity to discuss business opportunities and challenges with RECP. 


G) Roundtable on Trade

  • The latest information on the trade case, what has happened and what we expect to happen next
  • What are the implications of the new regulation for businesses in the European Union
  • Interim reviews on administrative burden and MIP mechanism: useful or nuisance?

The European Commission is expected to bring forward its new trade regulation on solar products imported from Asia in early March 2017.  In place since 2013, the anti-dumping and countervailing duties on modules and cells from China (Malaysia and Taiwan) and the Minimum Import Price undertaking is one of the biggest issues facing the European solar industry today. 


The roundtable will give you the latest information on the trade case, what has happened and what we expect to happen next. We will also look at the implications of the new regulation for businesses in the European Union. This will be an interactive session encouraging views, experiences and reflections from the room.