GSC Kicks off 2023: Stronger Ties With IRENA, Increased Ambition and Commitment to Solar’s Leadership as SolarPower Europe’s Máté Heisz Takes Over as New Chair
Once again in 2022, solar PV reaffirmed its role as the leader in achieving a just and inclusive energy transition globally. Building on a clear vision and the past year’s achievements, the Global Solar Council (GSC) is poised to further increase ambitions and improve representivity of the global solar PV value chain on key international stages and forums.
As a new year begins, the GSC is proud to welcome Máté Heisz, Director of Global Affairs at SolarPower Europe, as the new Chair serving for the period 2023-2024. SolarPower Europe is the voice of the solar industry in Europe, representing over 270 members across the entire solar value chain. As Director of Global Affairs, Heisz’s role is to ensure the association’s presence and impact on the global stage. He oversees SolarPower Europe’s work on emerging markets, international supply chains, quality assurance and research & innovation.
“As new Chair of the Board, I aim to further strengthen the GSC’s impact and influence at the global level, scaling up the GSC’s and the worldwide solar sector’s visibility at COP28”, Máté Heisz said. “I also wish to bolster the GSC’s presence in emerging markets around the world, where the GSC can work together with local associations to advocate for better policies and the scale-up of solar deployment.”
Today, the world faces simultaneous and interconnected challenges, including the climate crisis, the energy crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing food and water scarcity, multiple conflicts, and increasing trade tensions, while around 800 million people worldwide still have no access to electricity. Solar PV has a crucial role to play in ensuring a just transition, by broadening access to energy across the world, and helping to tackle many of these challenges.
The global solar market is growing exponentially, with total capacity doubling in three years from 2018, rising to the Terawatt scale in April 2022. While it took around a decade for the world to reach 1 TW, from 100 GW in 2012, the global solar capacity is set to double again within just a couple of years. The GSC will play a critical role in shaping and steering such growth.
The value of solar PV is immediate as well as long-term, but its full potential still needs to be unlocked worldwide and especially in emerging markets. The Global Solar Council will therefore continue and increase its efforts at collaboration and dialogue with governments and other stakeholder structures on increasing PV deployment and building private-public partnerships for enhanced knowledge transfer and greater international cooperation.
“A priority for me is to grow the GSC’s membership further, with a focus on multinational corporate members. The GSC offers multinational corporations the opportunity to be part of shaping a new solar world, through engaging in international roundtable discussions, and providing input into crucial global debates through forums such as COP28, as well as the chance to actively engage emerging markets for solar”, GSC Chair Máté Heisz added.
The year’s first major appointment for GSC was the 13th IRENA General Assembly, held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, from 13 to 15 January 2023. The Assembly provided an occasion to identify further cooperation, outline key challenges and concrete actions to address them, and ensure coordination of the clean energy and technology world in the run-up to COP28, which is going to take place in Dubai, UAE. COP28 will be of particular significance as it marks the conclusion of the first Global Stocktake, a comprehensive assessment of the progress made in achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
During the event, GSC took an active role in the high-level Public-Private Dialogue: ‘Towards just and inclusive energy transitions’, alongside several governments, NGOs and renewable industry associations focused on enabling swift and inclusive change.
“To keep subsidizing fossil fuels means prolonging the transition. Instead, we need to upscale investment in solar and other renewables to implement a true exit strategy while creating millions of new and more equitable jobs – a 100% renewables scenario is now both economically and technically viable”, GSC CEO Gianni Chianetta told the audience.
The GSC also participated in the annual strategy meeting of the IRENA Coalition for Action, which brings together several global leaders across renewable energy, industry, civil society, and research sectors. Two key points of discussion were the importance of improving the renewable energy sector’s visibility and outreach at the upcoming COP28, and the need for an official IRENA scenario for 100% renewables – as well as how the Coalition can support IRENA in these efforts. The GSC will continue its engagement within the IRENA Coalition for Action, with the appointment of GSC Chair Máté Heisz to the Steering Committee.
The Global Solar Council is also glad to welcome Rodrigo Sauaia, CEO of the Brazilian Solar Photovoltaic Energy Association (ABSOLAR), as Chair Elect.
The GSC and its members are thankful to Jose Donoso, General Director of UNEF and former Chair of the Board, for the incredible experience that he brought to the GSC and the remarkable work he carried out to advance the global solar market over the past two years. Thanks to his leadership, the management of the CEO Gianni Chianetta, and the work of the GSC team, the Council achieved significant results in 2022.
The GSC launched the global communications campaign ‘Empowering people with solar PV’ – which, thanks to the commitment of the GSC members, was translated into several languages including Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Arabic – including a benchmarking analysis of distributed solar PV regulations across the globe, with a final report to be published soon.
The GSC also co-hosted the Wind and Solar pavilion at COP27 with the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), with nine events including the GSC Virtual Forum and several meetings with governments to highlight key priorities to enable solar PV – the highest-potential asset for a just energy transition – to help countries and communities advance in the race to decarbonization, integrating with wind and other renewables and energy storage.
At COP27, the GSC with GWEC, the International Hydropower Association, the Green Hydrogen Organisation, the Long-Duration Energy Storage Council, and the International Geothermal Association established the Global Renewables Alliance (GRA) to unify the global bodies representing the clean technologies required for net-zero, and strengthen the private sector’s voice on accelerating the energy transition at key forums such as G20 and United Nations Climate Change Conferences. GRA is working to ensure a strong renewable industries presence and visibility at COP28.
The market analysis and policy activities continued in 2022, with the production of a joint positioning with GWEC on investment signals, streamlined permitting recommendations, and green taxonomies, and the contribution to the SolarPower Europe’s Global Market Outlook 2022-2026.
The GSC was glad to welcome new corporate members Jinko Solar, Pure Energy, Lightsource BP, Amarenco, and the new association members MESIA – Middle East Solar Industry Association and SPR – Asociación Peruana de Energías Renovables.
GSC acknowledges the new members of the Board of Directors Eva Vandest, Group Head of Public Affairs, Amarenco Group, and Karim Amr Nofal, Group Marketing Manager, Pure Energy, and wishes them well in their tenure.
Cover image: GSC CEO Gianni Chianetta and GSC Chair Máté Heisz
Note for editors
The Global Solar Council (https://www.globalsolarcouncil.org) is the voice of the world’s solar energy industry, a non-profit body based in Washington D.C. representing national, regional and international associations as well as leading solar sector corporations. Founded at the 2015 Paris climate conference as a private-sector response to the climate emergency, the Global Solar Council brings together associations from both established and emerging markets that represent companies all along the solar supply chain.
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