Frankfurt: The 27th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition(27th EU PVSEC, from 24 to 28 September 2012) closed its doors having hosted a true melting-pot exchange of research, industry, finance and politics for participants from over 100 nations. Despite consolidation within the industry coupled with recession, participants turned up in their thousands to hear and see first-hand the ideas and innovations shaping tomorrow's PV landscape. Building on this success, Paris, France, was chosen as the 2013 host.

Benefitting from an all-time record of more than 1,600 contributions, delegates enjoyed a rich conference programme notable for its particularly strong research, industry and policy-maker participation. Frankfurt represented a unique shop window to take the pulse of emerging global policy and industry trends in a sector that has grown 500 fold since 1990, now employing over 300,000 in the European Union. The event pioneered a new Europe – Asia PV Forum', well received by all, especially by the noticeably large number of Asian delegates present. As a measure of the European Commission's commitment to this annual event, its in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre (JRC), chose Frankfurt to launch its PV Status Report 2012. Now in its 12th edition, this research compendium affords an unrivalled and detailed snapshot of the latest developments in all EU member states. The 27th EU PVSEC Frankfurt 2012 also leaves behind the memory of a bee-hive-like exhibition where over 650 international groups covering the entire PV value chain took part to promote their innovations. In the same vein, delegates enjoyed a diverse social programme of outreach activities and parallel events.

Speaking at the closing session, Chairman of the Conference and of the International Energy Agency (IEA) Photovoltaic Programme, Dr. Stefan Nowak declared: "I reiterate the strong message received from keynote speakers and grassroots participants coming together this week in Frankfurt. Photovoltaic solar energy is here to stay but is now at a tipping point. Electricity business leaders, investors, innovators, regulators and especially policy-makers must join forces and push ahead with an inevitable paradigm shift in the way electricity is produced, sold, transported and distributed".

Dr. Arnulf Jger-Waldau, Event Technical Programme Chairman (representing the Renewable Energies Unit at the European Commission, Joint Research Centre's Institute for Energy and Transport) said: "Frankfurt has been an invaluable platform to discuss the role photovoltaic solar energy will play to realise the decarbonisation of our energy supply. The international PV community has made this the most inspiring and influential platform we have, to shape our future energy mix based on sound science". He added: "As European Commission, Director General, Dominique Ristori emphasised during the opening session, we at the Joint Research Centre will continue pulling together the necessary Science, Technology & Innovation Roadmaps to evidence that there is a growing number of solar technologies available which can deliver the heat, cooling, electricity, lighting and fuels for a whole host of applications that society needs".

Dr. Winfried Hoffmann, President of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) and Recipient of the 2012 European Becquerel Prize advised policy-makers that: "Roadmaps and objectives should be revisited because PV now offers a generation of technology which is ready to deliver". He added: "Yet, the overriding challenge remains how to bring about a swift deployment on a large scale. While techno-economic barriers continue to fall in terms of performance, reliability and cost, the main barriers to large-scale deployment are unquestionably of an administrative and regulatory nature. We must stay together, act with one voice and we will succeed".

Speaking from the platform of the Europe – Asia PV Forum, Dr. Giovanni De Santi, Director of the European Commission's Institute for Energy and Transport highlighted key policy developments: "We all accept that energy supply is a global problem demanding global solutions but I assure you that it is amongst the highest priorities of the European Union". He added: "We are leaving no stone unturned to address those obstacles that are holding this necessary technology back. From issues around skills training, access to the grid and long waiting times for connection, to proper methods for recycling and addressing a lack of public awareness, we are playing our part and will continue to support the industry in doing so".

For many years, the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition has combined a renowned international scientific conference with a leading PV industry exhibition and trade fair. Every year, during 5 conference and 4 trade fair days, new products and technical innovations from all areas of Photovoltaics and from all over the world are on display.

The EU PVSEC is supported by European and international organisations such as the European Commission, UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Natural Sciences Sector, WCRE – World Council for Renewable Energy, IPVEA – the International Photovoltaic Equipment Association, EPIA – the European Photovoltaic Industry Association.
The Technical Programme is coordinated by the European Commission, DG Joint Research Centre.


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