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Actual execution of the Implementation Plan for Photovoltaics and monitoring the Implementation Plan’s delivery

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PV Impact (Actual execution of the Implementation Plan for Photovoltaics and monitoring the Implementation Plan’s delivery)

Reporting period: 2020-10-01 to 2022-03-31

PV Impact’s objective is to offer “support to the execution/realisation of a SET Plan Implementation Plan”, therefore supporting IWG-PV and monitoring the status of relevant PV projects. The European Commission and the wider European PV research community want the SET Plan Implementation Plan to influence not only Horizon Europe spending but also spending directly controlled by SET Plan countries and industry. Ideally, countries will create new possibilities outside of Horizon Europe to fund transnational research and innovation work in the listed areas. However, galvanising SET Plan country administrations is the prerogative of IWG-PV rather than PV Impact. This project therefore focuses on the private sector, on companies manufacturing or offering services, which can benefit from insights from the innovation community (e.g. research centres, universities, consultants). As industry’s willingness to invest determines the health of the rest of the ecosystem, PV Impact´s goal is action. Companies can support the Implan either alone or collaboratively by working on projects with entirely private money or by accepting some form of public subsidy.

PV Impact tests a variety of approaches to stimulate the private sector to spend more on PV RD&I in Europe. The project invites companies to matchmaking events (Component 1) so they can make connections and find new partners. The project also targets two specific industrial companies (Component 2): ENEL Green Power, which coordinates many different PV actors in Italy, and Photowatt, working mostly privately but using the consortium's expertise to ensure the right strategic technical choices to be competitive in PV manufacturing. PV progress monitoring (Component 3) collects data on public spending in the EU, private spending, the kinds of projects being funded and the overall performance of PV technology. This data is used for forecasts for future spending and to track whether improvements in technology performance keep pace with expectations.
The steps taken to reach the project´s objectives included:
- Organisation of 15 matchmaking events (with 140 total unique participants) between PV companies active in technology development (primarily) and public-sector research organisations, with each Implan activity addressed multiple times and an overall “enriching and valuable" experience according to participants. Technical partners in WP1 were some of the most voted stakeholders in searching for private investments, research opportunities, or expertise for business models/written applications.
- Definition of a comprehensive “Strategic Plan for Research and Innovation to Relaunch the Italian Photovoltaic Sector and Contribute to the Targets of the National Energy and Climate Plan”
- Preparation of full project proposals on “Utility-scale PV” (USPV) and “Building Integrated PV” (BIPV). Two proposals were submitted to the Italian Ministry for the Ecological Transition (MITE) for the 1st flagship in the call “Ricerca di Sistema Elettrico”. One has already been funded (project “TANDEM” led by Olivotto Glass Technologies s.p.a budget €3M) and one awaits evaluation (project GoPV, led by ENEA, budget €5M). For the 2nd flagship, 2 projects were conceived - one has been funded (project “FOURIER” led by CAMLIN Italia s.r.l budget €1.7M) and one awaits final evaluation (project “CANVAS”, led by CNR, budget €5M).
- Creation of an effective network of R&I stakeholders (>60) - in the form of “National PV Network of R&I” - who have been actively involved in the preparation of the White Paper and defining priorities for national R&I projects
- Establishment of the Distributed Lab through the mapping of all the facilities, lab equipment and know-how in the >380 R&D laboratories in Italy (database accessible via the PV Impact site)
- Organisation of 2 Scientific & Technical meetings to further Photowatt´s medium-term R&D plan related to several potential objectives of the PV Implan.
- 7 companies accessing Photowatt’s lines to bridge the gap from lab to industry
- Setting-up an online database of European, national and transnational PV RD&I projects to collect projects related to the activities of the implementation plan and examine how each member state invests in terms of public spending and in which sector of the PV value chain
- Supporting IWG-PV´s SET Plan 2020 and 2021 reporting exercise for ongoing projects
- Monitoring the metrics and KPIs set by the IWG by consulting PV Impact partners, the IWG, and ETIP-PV to assess the progress of the Implementation Plan. Analysis used in preparation of the ETIP-PV´s new Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda will be the basis for the IWG-PV's Implan revision to be finalised this year
- Providing data insights on Competitiveness for specific segments of the PV value chain to DG ENER for their assessment of the competitiveness of RES technologies (CETTIR Report), and the 2022 Competitiveness progress report - Photovoltaics
- Organisation of the event "Ecolabels for PV panels: the missing link for EU-based, green PV manufacturing?", totalling 128 participants and 12 expert speakers
All impacts were achieved by the end of the project, and some activities impacted beyond the state-of-the-art:

1) Promoting the SET Plan Implementation Plan on PV:
- organised 15 matchmaking events for PV R&D stakeholders in line with the activities and priorities of the PV Implan to create a unique networking environment for PV stakeholders and to support (via tailored mentoring) their funding applications for R&D projects;
- established interactions between R&I stakeholders in Italy (National PV Network of R&I), mapped the research projects and research facilities devoted to PV R&I throughout the country (Distributed Lab) and prepared "A Strategic Plan for Research and Innovation to Relaunch the Italian Photovoltaic Sector and Contribute to the Targets of the National Energy and Climate Plan" to help Italian stakeholders realise the PV Implan efficiently;
- facilitated the emergence of new PV funding: The Ministry for the Ecological Transition (MITE) promoted a strategic R&I programme on Photovoltaics as part of the new 3-year plan of “Ricerca di Sistema Elettrico” (2022-2024) with a budget of €20M
- Photowatt developed its medium-term R&D plan related to several potential targeted objectives of the PV Implan. This led to a collaboration among Photowatt, Fraunhofer ISE and EDF R&D on the manufacturing of high efficiency solar cells (TopCon) on Ultra-Low Carbon cast-mono material.
2) Monitoring PV research:
- measuring impact/progress of PV via metrics and KPIs in consultation and for the benefit of the IWG-PV
- collecting data on the financial contributions from private and public sources at national level for the execution of the Implementation’s R&I activities;
- launching an online database of PV stakeholders and projects; ensured public access to the database for future development;
3) Providing knowledge for policymakers:
- insights on collecting data on Competitiveness for specific segments of the PV value chain to DG ENER for their preparation of an assessment of the competitiveness of RES technologies – CETTIR Report, as well as providing input for the 2022 edition of the Competitiveness progress report - Photovoltaics;
- organising the event "Ecolabels for PV panels: the missing link for EU-based, green PV manufacturing?", with 128 participants and 12 expert speakers.
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