Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP7

SOLAR-ERA.NET Report Summary

Project ID: 321571
Funded under: FP7-ENERGY
Country: Switzerland

Final Report Summary - SOLAR-ERA.NET (ERA-NET on Solar Electricity for the Implementation of the Solar Europe Industry Initiative)

Executive Summary:
SOLAR-ERA.NET is a network that brings together more than 20 RTD and innovation programmes in the field of solar electricity technologies in the European Research Area. The network of national and regional funding organisations has been established in order to increase transnational cooperation between RTD and innovation programmes and to contribute to achieving the objectives of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET-) plan through dedicated transnational activities (especially transnational calls) in the field of solar electricity generation, i.e. photovoltaics (PV) and concentra¬ting solar power (CSP) / solar thermal electricity (STE).

The objective of SOLAR-ERA.NET is to carry out the coordination and support actions for the implementation of the SEII (Solar Europe Industry Initiative, meanwhile terminated) between national and regional RTD and innovation programmes. The SEII was embedded in the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) which aims to increase, coordinate and focus EU support on key low-carbon energy technologies in order to achieve Europe’s 2020 energy objectives in the future.

The primary focus of SOLAR-ERA.NET activities has been on transnational joint calls. Four joint calls were launched, one call per year. The transnational SOLAR-ERA.NET calls found good interest and participation of the solar power sector:
• 180 preproposals submitted with total project costs of 230 MEUR and funding requested of 144 MEUR
• 774 partners involved in preproposals
• Up to 17 countries and regions participating in the joint call consortium
• 83 full proposals submitted

32 transnational projects were funded by the time of reporting (28 PV projects, 4 CSP projects). They represent a project volume of 37 MEUR of which 24 MEUR comes from public funding. Funding decision procedure is ongoing for some 14 projects. It can be expected that up to 46 projects will be finally initiated and funded within the SOLAR-ERA.NET framework. It can be estimated that the total project volume will be around 60 MEUR of which around 40 MEUR comes from public funding. This means that the EC funding for 1,2 MEUR will be multiplied by a factor of around 50 with respect to the total volume of all transnational projects funded resp. 30 with respect to public funding effectively provided.

With up to 17 countries and regions participating, 180 preproposals and 83 full proposals submitted, quality of projects funded and resources mobilised (on average around 10 MEUR of public funding per call), SOLAR-ERA.NET has mostly achieved its objectives despite the difficult economic conditions prevailing in the sector and in some countries. As such, SOLAR-ERA.NET can make its contribution to increase the competitiveness and innovation in the European solar sector, although its health obviously greatly depends on the further economic context and on other initiatives and programmes on the European and national level.

SOLAR-ERA.NET was an EU funded FP7 project (N° 321‘571) running from 2012 to 2016. The network will continue its activities with a joint call in the ERA-NET Cofund action scheme.

Project Context and Objectives:
SOLAR-ERA.NET is a network that brings together more than 20 RTD and innovation programmes in the field of solar electricity technologies in the European Research Area. The network of national and regional funding organisations has been established in order to increase transnational cooperation between RTD and innovation programmes and to contribute to achieving the objectives of the Strategic Energy Technology (SET-) plan through dedicated transnational activities (especially transnational calls). SOLAR-ERA.NET is an EU funded FP7 project running from 2012 to 2016.

SOLAR-ERA.NET is a European network of national and regional funding organisations and RTD and innovation programmes in the field of solar electricity generation, i.e. photovoltaics (PV) and concentra¬ting solar power (CSP) / solar thermal electricity (STE). The objective of SOLAR-ERA.NET is to carry out the coordination and support actions for the implementation of the SEII (Solar Europe Industry Initiative, meanwhile terminated) between national and regional RTD and innovation programmes. The SEII was embedded in the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan) which aims to increase, coordinate and focus EU support on key low-carbon energy technologies in order to achieve Europe’s 2020 energy objectives in the future. The SEII was a joint initiative of the industry sector, EC and member states. The objective of the SEII was to boost the development of the PV and CSP sector beyond “business-as-usual” in the areas of Research and Development, Demonstration and Deployment. For the concerned solar electricity technologies Implementation Plans were developed setting out priorities for RTD in Europe.

SOLAR-ERA.NET’s goal within this FP7 project was to undertake joint strategic planning, programming and activities for RTD and innovation in the area of solar electricity generation. Joint activities, namely joint calls, are defined for key topics and priorities in accordance with the Solar Europe Industry Initiative (SEII), based on the Strategic Energy Technology (SET) Plan and its related Implementation Plans for PV and CSP. In order to define and support the best joint activities, strategic information exchange and use of implementation tools was carried out among the network participants and associates from key stakeholder groups.

The objectives of SOLAR-ERA.NET were:
• To build a strong network involving key stakeholders of national and regional RTD and innovation programmes relevant for solar energy (PV and CSP)
• To create critical mass and mobilise resources for accelerated technology development and deployment
• To apply an efficient and coherent approach for effective transnational collaboration
• To support concrete joint activities and projects
• To strengthen Europe’s position in solar technologies and sustainable deve¬lop¬ment
• To enhance coherency and durable cooperation in ERA

Project Results:
The primary focus of SOLAR-ERA.NET activities has been on transnational joint calls. Four joint calls have been launched and successfully carried out:
• Launch of the 1st joint call: 4 March 2013
• Launch of the 2nd joint call: 15 January 2014
• Launch of the 3rd joint call: 10 December 2014
• Launch of the 4th joint call: 8 December 2015

The transnational SOLAR-ERA.NET calls found good interest and participation of the solar power sector:
• 180 preproposals submitted with total project costs of 230 MEUR and funding requested of 144 MEUR
• 774 partners involved in preproposals
• Up to 17 countries and regions participating in the joint call consortium
• 83 full proposals submitted

Key results and figures in terms of transnational projects funded are:
• 32 transnational projects were funded by the time of reporting (28 PV projects, 4 CSP projects). They represent a project volume of 37 MEUR of which 24 MEUR comes from public funding.
• Funding decision procedure is ongoing for some 14 projects. It can be expected that up to 46 projects will be finally initiated and funded within the SOLAR-ERA.NET framework.
• It can be estimated that the total project volume will be around 60 MEUR of which around 40 MEUR comes from public funding.
• This means that the EC funding for 1,2 MEUR will be multiplied by a factor of around 50 resp. 30.

The course of SOLAR-ERA.NET indicates that the network will be able to deliver the most relevant results expected and create the potential impact related to this. Four joint calls were launched according to the planning and timeline defined in the Description of Work. With up to 17 countries and regions participating, 180 preproposals and 83 full proposals submitted, quality of projects funded and resources mobilised (on average around 10 MEUR of public funding per call), SOLAR-ERA.NET has mostly achieved its objectives despite the difficult economic conditions prevailing in the sector and in some countries. As such, SOLAR-ERA.NET can make its contribution to increase the competitiveness and innovation in the European solar sector, although its health obviously greatly depends on the further economic context and on other initiatives and programmes on the European and national level.

Other work performed was dealing with strategic information resulting in Survey Reports from the countries, Reports on Strategic Issues, Insights, Work Programme and Actions for SEII Implementation in SOLAR-ERA.NET Joint Calls) and monitoring of the projects.

Last but not least, SOLAR-ERA.NET has really strengthened the transnational dimension and cooperation of many funding organisations as well as RTD and innovation programmes in the field of solar electricity technologies in the European Research Area.

S&T results/foregrounds in terms of RDI work carried out will be found in publications related to transnational projects funded.

The following 32 transnational projects were funded by the time of reporting:

• SLAGSTOCK: Low-cost Sustainable Thermal Energy Storage Systems Made of Recycled Steel Industry Waste
• LIMES: Light Innovative Materials for Enhanced Solar Efficiency
• INTESEM: Intelligent Solar Energy Management Pipeline from Cell to Grid
• NOVACOST: Non vacuum based strategies for cost efficient low weight chalcogenide photovoltaics
• NovaZOlar: All-non-vacuum processed ZnO-based buffer and window layers for CIGS solar cell technology
• InnoModu: Leadfree modules with low silver content and innovative busless cell grid
• AER II: Industrialization and System Integration of the Aesthetic Energy Roof Concept
• PV4FACADES: Photovoltaics for high-performance building-integrated electricity production using high-efficiency back-contact silicon modules
• BLACK: Black silicon and defect engineering for highly efficient solar cells and modules
• PV2GRID: A next generation grid side converter with advanced control and power quality capabilities
• THESEUS: Tandem High Efficiency Solar Cells Utilizing III-V Semiconductors on Silicon
• APPI: Atmospheric Pressure Processing for Industrial Solar Cells
• SNOOPI: Smart Network Control with Coordinated PV Infeed
• SPRINTCELL: Sulfide-based Ink for Printable Earth Abundant Solar Cell
• IPERMON: Innovative Performance Monitoring System for Improved Reliability and Optimized Levelized Cost of Electricity
• ACCESSCGIS: Atmospheric Cost Competitive Elemental Sulfo Selenization for CIGS
• PV me: organic PhotoVoltaic systems integrated in manufactured building elements
• U-light: Ultra lightweight PV modules and their applications in innovative PV systems achieving lowest levelized cost of electricity (LCOE)
• inGRID: High efficiency PV modules with cells interconnected by a novel conducting encapsulation layer
• MONOSCRIBE: Roll-to-Roll Monolithic Interconnection of Customizable Thin-film Solar Modules
• HighCast: High Performance Silicon Casting and Wafering
• EDITOR: Evaluation of the Dispatchability of a Parabolic Trough Collector System with Concrete Storage
• FunGlass: Multi-Functional Glass for PV Application
• SITEF: Silicone Fluid Test Facility
• PROOF: Competitive Industrialized Photovoltaic Roofing
• SolFieOpt: Optimal Heliostat Fields for Solar Tower Power Plants
• SPRINTCELL: Sulfide-based Ink for Printable Earth-Abundant Solar Cell
• DINAMIC: Dilute Nitride Based Concentrator Multijunction Solar Cells, With Efficiencies Over 47%
• IPERMON: Innovative Performance Monitoring System for Improved Reliability and Optimized Levelized Cost of Electricity
• HVolt-PV: High voltage IBC photovoltaic i-Cells and modules
• CNT-PV: Carbon nanotube hole-transporting and collecting layers for semi-transparent, flexible and low-cost solid-state photovoltaic cells
• HIPPO: High-efficiency poly-Si passivated contact solar cells and modules

The list of transnational projects funded is constantly updated and project summaries are available on the project’s website solar-era.net.

Potential Impact:
As the largest network ever in the solar power field in the European Research Area, SOLAR-ERA.NET involved most relevant RTD and innovation programmes dealing with photovoltaics (PV) and concentrating solar power (CSP). This high level of involvement of most relevant stakeholders provided the outreach and coordination needed for an efficient and coherent approach in the highly diverse and versatile RTD landscape.

SOLAR-ERA.NET brought together key RTD and innovation programmes from 18 European countries and regions and had a good mobilisation potential for providing resources for RTD and innovation activities identified as highly important by the Solar Europe Industry Initiative Implementation Plans for PV and CSP with a focus on industrial needs and innovation.

Joint calls for relevant RTD and innovation topics in PV and CSP were effectively launched on an annual basis, resulting in a total funding volume by the participating programmes of around 40 MEUR and a total project volume of around 60 MEUR. Considering the difficult economic conditions prevailing in the sector and in some countries, the mobilisation level is good.

32 projects were funded by the time of reporting and, finally, up to 46 projects are expected to be funded within the SOLAR-ERA.NET framework.

It is expected that the EC funding used (1,2 MEUR for the ERA-NET project) will be multiplied by a factor of around 30 with respect to the public funding provided by programmes involved in joint calls and by a factor of around 50 with respect to total projects volume.

SOLAR-ERA.NET played an important role on the transnational level allowing for structured information exchange and communication between the relevant RTD and innovation programmes in order to identify common interests (synergies) and implement optimal mechanisms for enhanced cooperation and joint activities, primarily joint calls tackling with RTD and innovation priorities in the area of solar power technologies. As such it also made a contribution for an enhanced, strong and durable cooperation between the partners and their national / regional RTD and innovation programmes as well as to achieving the objectives set in the European Strategic Energy Technology plan.

Results of the transnational RDI projects will be mainly disseminated through the industry and research community involved as well as by funding agencies. Project summaries are available on the project website.

List of Websites:
www.solar-era.net
info@solar-era.net
Coordinator: Stefan Nowak, NET Nowak Energy & Technology Ltd., Waldweg 8, CH-1717 St.Ursen, Switzerland, stefan.nowak (at) netenergy.ch
Further contact details on partners are available on the project website.

Related information

Contact

Stefan Nowak, (Managing director)
Tel.: +41 26 494 00 30
Fax: +41 26 494 00 34
E-mail
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top