- There are strategic elements that need to be manufactured in our country, we have to control certain technologies, in addition to having the resource.
- This energy revolution must go hand in hand with an industrial revolution of the sector in our country so that we can return to large-scale manufacturing, and innovation has a great role to play in this process.
- Investing in R&D can increase environmental integration and productivity per hectare for plants on the ground, or we can talk about bio-agrovoltaics, so that we become a truly green energy.
- It is essential to promote the integration of solar in more and more applications (agrovoltaic, floating solar, building-integrated...).
- Any progress made in storage is key to providing society with the same certainty and stability as the old conventional energies.
Madrid, February 10, 2022.- The FOTOPLAT platform, whose purpose is to promote the development of R+D+i and connected and involved with the national and international technological fabric and whose Technical Secretariat is held by the Spanish Photovoltaic Union, UNEF, today held its Annual Assembly, which over the years has become the solar technology forum in Spain.
Jose Donoso, President of FOTOPLAT and General Director of UNEF, opened the conference, held in open zoom, to talk about the role of innovation in the present and future of the photovoltaic sector. In this regard, he introduced the concept of 'Technostrategy', in the sense that "if COVID has taught us anything, it is that there are concepts that need to be reviewed. Globalization has limits. There are strategic elements that need to be manufactured in our country, we have to control certain technologies, in addition to having the resource," he explained.
In this regard, he pointed out that the PERTE of renewable energies, renewable hydrogen and storage is a great opportunity. "There is much to do in the world of technological innovation and this energy revolution must go hand in hand with an industrial revolution of the sector in our country so that we can return to large-scale manufacturing," said Jose Donoso.
He highlighted the role of photovoltaics in the face of the necessary price reduction, with 4676 MWp of photovoltaics in 2021, of which 1430 MWp were self-consumption, for the first time 30%. He has also drawn attention to the spectacular growth of the residential segment, which indicates that there is greater awareness among citizens, "who have realized that we are a competitive technology," he stressed.
Donoso also pointed out that despite these good results, there are still challenges that technological innovation can face. For example, increasing environmental integration and productivity per hectare for plants in soil, or managing to talk about bioagrovoltaics, so that we are a truly green energy. In self-consumption, we must advance in demand integration and move towards smart cities and islands, and improve integration in buildings, he said.
In general, it is important to work on the recyclability of all the components in the construction chain of a plant so that it reaches 95%. In the same way, he pointed out that all the progress made in storage is key to be able to provide society with the same certainty and stability as the old conventional energies.
After Jose Donoso, Miguel Rodrigo, Head of Regulatory Framework and Corporate Strategy at the IDAE, the Institute for Energy Diversification and Saving, spoke to explain details of the PERTE (Strategic Projects for Economic Recovery and Transformation) created as a new public-private collaboration instrument defined by Royal Decree-Law 36/2020 of December 30 as part of the Spanish Recovery Plan. These aids -he has insisted- are an opportunity to bring forward to 2023 the objectives that the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 (PNIEC) has for 2025 as well as an opportunity for photovoltaic R+D+i.
Regarding the European Strategic R&D Agenda (SRIA), Eduardo Román, Photovoltaic Systems Manager at Tecnalia, explained that it implies a change with respect to those of other years, since the previous ones were very focused on technology while the current one determines different challenges to position photovoltaics as a key energy for the energy transition with objectives and paths to achieve them and to reduce prices, favor the integration of solar energy in more and more applications (agrovoltaic, floating solar, integrated in buildings,...), not only for electricity production, but also for the production of electricity. ), not only for electricity production, as well as its integration into the landscape.
In fact, the panel discussion moderated by Ana Huidobro, from the Solar Energy Department at Tecnalia, addressed the issue of innovation as a tool to improve the positive socio-environmental impact of photovoltaics. Santiago Martín Barajas, Director EMAT, explained how one of his studies shows that, if the appropriate measures are applied, solar plants can be a bet for biodiversity while Alejandro Labanda, Director of Regulation and Studies of UNEF, insisted on the need to create shared value, among other things to generate a local socioeconomic benefit through dialogue to generate alliances with municipal entities and stakeholders in the area. Laura Méndez, Senior Technologist at Aurinka PV, also recalled the importance of eco-design and advances to increase efficiency and reduce the rate of wear of the modules, as well as reducing the carbon footprint of all components and improving their recyclability and repairability.
The FOTOPLAT Annual Assembly ended its day with another round table discussion on whether it is feasible to think about manufacturing photovoltaic panels on a large scale in Spain. Moderated by Ana Rosa Lagunas, the participants were Paco Cano, Solar Energy Director, Tecnalia; Xabier Otaño, Commercial Director, Mondragón Assembly Solar, and Jaime Moracho, Head of the Photovoltaic Systems Service, Solar Energy and Solar Energy Storage Department, CENER.
They agreed that innovation, through the development of more flexible or better integrated modules, for example, will mark a differential factor that is necessary compared to components from abroad and to avoid imports in order to strengthen our productive fabric and our industry. This would also lead to a reduction in logistics problems and a smaller carbon footprint due to transportation.
The recording of the session can be accessed through FOTOPLAT's You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2T3PRmEeZVosFuMLa70n8A
The Spanish Photovoltaic Union (UNEF) is the industry association for solar photovoltaic energy in Spain. Made up of more than 600 companies, entities and groups from the entire technology value chain, it represents more than 90% of the sector's activity in Spain and brings together practically all of them: producers, installers, engineering firms, manufacturers of raw materials, modules and components, distributors and consultants. UNEF also holds the presidency and co-secretariat of FOTOPLAT, the Spanish photovoltaic technology platform. The platform brings together universities, research centers and leading companies in photovoltaic R&D in Spain.