On October 21st, Solar Heat Europe launched a new taskforce on PVT (Photovoltaic-Thermal) collectors. The first meeting, with more than 10 experts joining this taskforce, served to identify the market barriers that the sector is facing and define a path to address them.
During the meeting, Laetitia Brottier, the TF PVT leader, addressed the main market barriers for PVT within three main areas: Competitivity, quality assurance and public awareness.
SHE’s Secretary General provided an overview of the current status of PVT market related to competitivity, based on one report from IEA SHC Task 60 on the current market situation. The main points addressed were:
- the geographical scope
- PVT systems in operation by type of application
- continuation in time of PVT data
- need for a reference to calculate the nominal thermal power in the future
The participants were asked to identify additional market barriers and it was agreed manufacturers define the market and asked for the future scenario for EU market, participants agreed that Europe will have a mixed picture. Another obstacles pointed out were:
- the difficulty to compete with other energy sources, such as very cheap gas, without a substantial policy or incentive to drive the costumer to change their behaviour
- the early high capital cost associated with new technologies and scaling to get market without appropriate financial mechanisms (incentives or grants)
- closing the commercial gap that consumers are expecting to pay as an alternative heating requirement.
The discussion then focused on the public support schemes or policies for PVT. In a nutshell the financial barriers come from: PVT being between two technologies (ST and PV), financial support is limited to a concrete type of collector and if the subsidy relies on PV or ST alone, it is only considered as a single technology solution so ignoring the hybrid solution of PVT.
Laetitia Brottier introduced the next point for discussion, the issue of quality and performance of PVT and asked for the inputs of the participants. One of the main ideas was that, as a short-term approach, PVT performance should be measured using the separated standards for ST and for PV. On a later stage, PVT should have a clear framework that measures its performance in a synchronised way.
The last point of the meeting was about Awareness. Participants agreed that the target group to whom PVT should be promoted was policy makers at EU level with a clear message: PVT is a key enabler for achieving climate targets. This should be a starting point, as a top-down approach in this regard might be easier. Though it shall evolve into reaching the national level. In particular, PVT knowledge should be reaching the installers and engineering side because they are the ones who can influence costumers.
After the meeting participants were asked to fill the survey “Identifying target and priorities for PVT”, with participant’s inputs a document will be elaborated with the results from the survey, that will narrows down the main topics to address and ways to assess them.
The final meeting will take place on the 28th November 2019, Thursday in Brussels, the day before the Solar Heat Europe/ESTIF General Assembly.
For those who are not able to attend the physical meeting you can joint online the Task Force on PVT collectors from your computer, tablet or smartphone via this link: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/937418365
For additional clarifications regarding the PVT taskforce, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.