The recently created “Photovoltaics Technology Research Advisory Council” will meet for the first time on 4 December 2003 in Brussels. The initiative of the European Commission involves 18 members representing all the major players in this technology.
Europe is now the worlds second largest manufacturer of photovoltaics, accounting for more than 24% of overall production, behind Japan (44%) and ahead of the USA (22%). Current forecasts show large potential for solar electricity production, for which Europe has seen an average growth rate of 30% per year over the last decade. Nevertheless, photovoltaics are currently under-utilised in the European Union, despite the active support of the Commission for research, development and demonstration projects in this area, with over €200million of funding for almost 200 projects over the last 10 years. To find the best way forward, the Advisory Council’s objective is to develop a Foresight Report and a Strategic Research Agenda, in order to address the remaining barriers to maximising the potential of this clean energy source.
“I see the establishment of the Photovoltaic Technology Research Advisory Council as a catalyst for creating a common European vision and a strategic research agenda,” says European Research Commissioner, Philippe Busquin. “So far, electricity produced from photovoltaic technology represents only a very small part of the total electricity generated in the Union. This contribution will remain static unless more ambitious measures are taken. We need to consider how we can overcome the technical, legal and socio-economic obstacles to increase the uptake of this sustainable energy system, which will create a winning situation for Europe’s industry, as well as for Europe’s society.”
Julia Acevedo | alfa
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