In October 2021, the International Thin-Film Solar Industry Association (PVthin) provided feedback to the European Commission’s consultation on the review of the EU Renewable Energy Directive (RED III).
PVthin supports the direction set by the Fit for 55 Package and encourages EU Member States and the European Parliament to work further to increase the uptake of solar PV. The RED III review proposes a number of changes that will have a significant impact on our sector. These include an increase in the share of renewable energy in the EU mix to 40% by 2030 and a requirement for Member States to establish national frameworks governing support schemes for renewables and measures to facilitate Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs).
RED III will undoubtedly lead to more solar PV installations across the EU. As the rollout of renewable energy infrastructure increases in pace, it will be important to account for the environmental impacts arising from the production of its key enabling technologies. The solar PV market illustrates this well: Thin-film PV modules carry less than half the carbon footprint (300 vs 785 gCO2eq / Wp) and a water footprint three times lower (7 vs 22 litres / Wp) compared to average modules .
Some of PVthin’s keypoints regarding RED III:
- Importance of accounting for the environmental impacts arising from the production of renewable energy infrastructure and the advantage of thin-film PV modules when it comes to its carbon footprint.
- Suggestion to include requirements of basic sustainability and social criteria in a number of articles found in the directive that establish frameworks for government support schemes and Power Purchase Agreements.
- Argument supported by the example in France where the support schemes for renewables contain sustainability selection criteria and allocate points for “low embedded carbon” of PV system equipment.