European industry players bullish on prospects for cooperation with China in the solar sector

As Europe accelerates its green transformation, Spanish and Portuguese photovoltaic industry insiders recently expressed their optimism about the prospects of cooperation with Chinese companies in the field of solar power generation.

  The Francisco Pizarro solar power plant in the autonomous region of Extremadura in southwest Spain is the largest photovoltaic power plant in Europe, built and operated by the Spanish power company, the Iverdrola Group, and was put into operation last summer. During a recent visit to the plant, this reporter learned that all the solar panels it uses come from China.

  José Belot, the company’s regional renewable energy development specialist for Extremadura, told reporters at the site that the Francisco Pizarro solar power plant has an installed capacity of around 590 megawatts and consists of 1.5 million solar panels, 13,700 trackers and 313 inverters, providing green and clean energy to 334,000 households.

  Belliote said the Chinese-made photovoltaic panels had been put into operation without any problems and that “the Chinese photovoltaic products fit our needs just right”.

  Spain is the second largest market for solar power in Europe. According to a report released late last year by the European Solar Energy Industry Association, Spain’s total installed PV capacity is expected to reach 26.4 GW by the end of 2022, with 7.5 GW added last year alone. The data shows that 41.1 GW of new PV capacity will be installed in the EU in 2022, an increase of 47% compared to 2021.

  Spanish PV Association Secretary General Jose Donoso Alonso told reporters that the quality and cost advantages of Chinese PV products are obvious to all, and Spain currently imports mainly inverters and PV panels from China, and these products are very competitive.

  Portugal is also a big importer of Chinese PV products. Pedro Amaral George, CEO of the Portuguese Renewable Energy Association, told reporters that Chinese-made photovoltaic panels, which account for about 85 percent of Portugal’s market share, have received the highest quality certification and are recognized by power companies and financing institutions, among others.

  Spain plans to reach a total installed PV capacity of 30 GW by 2030, but this target is expected to be raised to 55 GW to 65 GW, given the interest shown by investors and the state of development of the industry, Alonso said. Portugal plans to reach a total installed PV capacity of 9 GW by 2030, but the government may revise the target upwards to 18 GW to 20 GW, George said.

  Alonso believes that the cooperation between Spain and China is crucial to promote the development of the global PV industry, and that the large-scale development of the PV industry in Spain will also help China to explore the European market.

  George said that Portugal’s total installed PV capacity to reach 20 GW must strengthen cooperation with China and look forward to more construction and investment by Chinese companies in the European PV industry.



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