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Clean Energy Ministerial 3 (CEM3)

25–26 April 2012, London, UK

Solar PV
4:15 pm–5:45 pm
25 April 2012

Overview

Over the past five years, solar photovoltaic (PV) technology advancements and market changes have led to significant new opportunities and challenges for industry, policy makers, and consumers. As the solar sector continues to mature, international political considerations associated with scaling solar globally—tied to policies and the nexus of environmental, economic, and energy security benefits—are becoming more complex. Policy frameworks, international trade, and market access, among other issues, are providing Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM) Ministers with leadership opportunities to help accelerate the evolution of this important class of renewable energy technologies. This session focused on how to advance the solar sector through a discussion of comparative advantages in manufacturing, supply-demand balancing, lessons from policies that have stimulated deployment, and innovative PV financing approaches to support stakeholders across the supply chain.

Discussion Topics

Participants considered the following key questions in addressing this topic:

  • What are possible strategies to respond to excess solar PV manufacturing capacity in the near term?
  • As solar PV prices fall, how can governments help to ensure a smooth transition from subsidies to self-sustaining solar markets?
  • How can governments and industry best work together to develop the next generation of solar technologies?

Objective

The objective for the discussion was to identify a set of near-term, actionable opportunities to help reduce solar PV costs and accelerate solar PV deployment globally, particularly those that can be carried forth through public-private collaboration within the context of the CEM.

Format

The session aimed to bring a specific subject area into focus in an interactive setting. There were no speeches, but rather a moderated conversation in which all of the approximately 20 participants from the public and private sectors were encouraged to share their views. This was a private discussion held under the Chatham House Rule.

Session Structure

4:154:20: Moderator’s Opening Remarks
The moderator described the scope of the discussion, set expectations on the time limits for individual comments, provided an overview of the three segments for open discussion, and articulated the goals for the roundtable.

4:204:40: Transition from Subsidies
The following relevant topic was discussed:

  • As solar PV prices fall, how can governments help to ensure a smooth transition from subsidies to self-sustaining solar markets?

4:405:00: Excess Manufacturing Capacity
The following relevant topic was discussed:

  • What are possible strategies to respond to excess solar PV manufacturing capacity in the near term?

4:005:20: Public-Private Collaboration
The following relevant topic was discussed:

  • How can governments and industry best work together to develop the next generation of solar technologies?

5:205:40: Opportunities for Progress
The moderator directed the discussion toward potential follow-on actions, which followed promising pathways that opened up during the earlier minutes, involved ideas developed by participants in advance, and included the following actions:

  • Develop a global opportunity map to highlight large commercial PV markets that are opening up as costs fall
  • Highlight specific policy barriers that must be addressed to realize this potential
  • Encourage internationally comparable or, as appropriate, harmonized standards for quality and interconnection
  • Identify and address high-priority research and development priorities, potentially through international collaborations

5:405:45: Moderator’s Closing Remarks
The moderator summarized salient points, emerging consensus areas, and follow-on actions.

Moderator

Michael Levi, David M. Rubenstein, Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment, Council on Foreign Relations

Government Representatives

Germany: Jürgen Becker, State Secretary, Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety
India: B.K. Chaturvedi, Member, Energy, Planning Commission
India: Gireesh Pradhan, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy
Italy: Corrado Clini, Minister, Ministry of Environment, Land, and Sea
Mexico: Jordy Herrera, Secretary, Secretariat of Energy

Other Participants

Adnan Amin, Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency
Dan Arvizu, Director and Chief Executive, National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Soitec
Alison Finch, Creative Director, So Gecko Ltd.
Mark Kingsley, Chief Commercial Officer, Trina Solar
Jessie J. Knight, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, San Diego Gas & Electric
Jeremy Leggett, Chairman, Solarcentury
Steve Lennon, Group Executive, Sustainability, Eskom Holdings Limited
John Lynch, Managing Director and Head of EMEA Power, Utilities, and Renewables, Global Corporate and Investment Banking Group, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Jeremy Oppenheim, Director, McKinsey & Company
Kim Saylors-Laster, Vice President, Energy, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
Theodor Scheidegger, Chief Executive Officer, Solar and Hydro Division, Siemens Energy
Reza Shaybani, Chairman, British Photovoltaic Association
Leena Srivastava, Executive Director, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI)/Vice Chancellor, TERI University
Eicke Weber, Director, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE (Freiburg, Germany)
Maja C. Wessels, Executive Vice President, Global Public Affairs, First Solar
Steve Westly, Managing Partner, The Westly Group