News ROI
11 March 2024

Mission Solar launched at the Solar Power Europe Summit

Solar Power Europe held its traditional Summit from the 4th to the 5th of March with top speeches and panel discussions on various topics such as EU policies and directives, rooftop solar, manufacturing, sustainability, and inverters. 

Star Wars theme was played and the summit was opened by Maroš Šefčovič, Executive Vice President of the European Commission: ”It is good to see that there are a lot of Star Wars fans here. We need a lot of skywalkers to take on Darth Vader which is the climate change.” What an impressive opening!

There was good news for solar already on the first day when 27 Energy Ministers had a meeting, and all agreed that we must count on solar to reach our renewable energy targets such as RES45 by 2030.

In 2023 we all installed together 56GW of solar, but it is nowhere near enough. We need to install more to reach the ambitious targets set by the European Union. So, the EVP of the European Commission pledged everyone to do even more as we need an average of 55GW per year to reach the needed up to 700GW to enable fully our green transition. Maroš Šefčovič promised that the European Commission stands ready to help in any way they can including new permitting policies, energy market design, etc. since solar is the top priority in the next political cycle.

According to the Net Zero Industry Act, at least 40% of our net-zero technologies should be manufactured in Europe by 2030. So, we need more solar production capacity also, and this is something that the Net Zero Industry Act is addressing by trying to simplify permitting procedures and making deployment faster. “We need solar to thrive and shine and stay in Europe”, he stated.

“Solar has risen as the bright star of the energy sector”

Kadri Simson was awarded at the event as being a solar supporter since 2019. She was happy about the reward and said that solar has risen as the bright star of the energy sector. Last year we saw that 8% of all electricity produced in Europe is produced with solar so there is still a long way to go and a lot of potential for the solar sector to grow in the forthcoming years. With 56GW deployed last year, solar is now the largest growing form of electricity. Lately, we have seen especially a great increase in rooftop solar which still has a lot more potential as over 90% of European roofs are sitting empty. With the help of solar, we have saved 50 billion cubic meters of Russian imported oil by now. Great figures!

“The deployment of solar manufacturing in Europe is a matter of energy security and we need to find a balance between supporting European manufacturers and keeping products affordable. EIB has also recently published a package to support the industry. We are now providing 12 billion euros to support critical energy. 400 million of which is reserved for new solar manufacturing projects.”

Grid congestion and lack of people have become the major bottlenecks

There are a lot of grid problems in a lot of countries in Europe and this is slowing down the deployment of solar, especially in the UK and the Netherlands. Several countries have also an issue with long permitting processes. The year 2023 will be remembered as it defined the European grid momentum. Energy production increased by 40% but the grid stayed the same. By 2030 there is a need for 70% of solar connected to the grid. So, we see a major challenge here now. To deploy solar at the pace needed we need a better, more modern, and digitalized grid.  

This is something that the Net Zero Industry Act is also addressing with its Grid Action Plan which was published last autumn. Money put on the grid needs to double from 300 to 600 million euros in the next ten years. The Grid Action Plan from the European Commission is needed to improve the planning and financing of renewable energy. As Kadri Simson said: “We need to better use our grids, have them better digitalized and better used.”


The renewables business is a good business


It is not just about climate targets, it is about the business case for renewable energy”, Ann Mettler, Vice President, Europe at Breakthrough Energy mentioned. Renewable energy needs to be a profitable business for companies in order it spread as planned. She talked a lot about creating a comprehensive strategy with climate energy and business. Renewable energy is about energy resilience and prosperity which is in the heart of everything.


But as Maive Rute, Deputy Director of the European Commission pointed out the business case of renewable energy cannot be built on subsidies. Renewable energy needs to be viable on its own for businesses to take it on. The business case is there already with solar offering up to 20% of return on investment. Not to mention the energy self-sufficiency and sustainability aspects.


Mission Rooftop Solar: from niche to mass markets


Solnet Group SVP Arttur Kulvik was speaking at a panel discussion with Anette Persson, Energy Efficiency Policy Officer at the European Commission, Nathalie Rubin-Delanchy, responsible for EU sustainability policy at Amazon, and Nicolas Randria, Secretary General at GMPV-FFB. The topic was "Mission Rooftop Solar: from niche to mass markets". This discussion was also recorded live for a podcast “Watt Matters”. This can be listened to through Spotify at https://lnkd.in/dSsiQG7k.


Discussion included topics such as EU policy needs for rapid shutdowns and remote management, grid congestion issues, energy storage solutions, balancing markets, and forthcoming technological developments.


It was also great to hear that Amazon is on a path to reaching their 100% renewable energy goal by 2030 ahead of time, with solar playing a pivotal role in this. This a good example of how large rooftops can be used for good, both for the wallet and the climate instead of having them sitting empty.


The Mission Solar is now launched. Amazon is clearly on board. The question is, are you? If yes, contact us to talk more.

Joanna Viileinen,
Head of Marketing and Communication