Presidents column: Wanted - Your eyes for ISES

Thursday, 24. May 2018

An important note to all of our readers:  this week marks the deadline for ISES to achieve compliance with the EU’s GDPR.  I know many of you have had a lot of messages flooding your inbox regarding this important issue, but ISES really wants to stay in touch with you, and I want to be able to continue to communicate with all of you through my monthly column.  You won’t have to read a message like this again after this week, so all you need to do is click on the “keep me subscribed” messages you have been receiving from the fabulous folks at ISES Headquarters.  I look forward to staying in touch with all of you!

This week finds me in Shanghai, China, attending two conferences and participating in a key partner Board meeting.  I am currently at the 5th International Conference on Energy Meteorology (ICEM 2018) – a conference supported by ISES – which is being held at the Regal International East Asia Hotel. Experts from all over the world are presenting their latest work on applications of weather data to address the needs of our energy supply systems.  The phenomenal growth of renewable energy deployments is a major reason for the growth of the energy meteorology field.  Besides the contribution of our energy production systems to global climate change and regional environmental impacts, our current and future energy systems are more and more susceptible to the nuances and complexity of changing weather patterns and extreme events.  The ICEM’s provide an important opportunity for weather experts, data providers, energy developers, and system operators to learn about the latest research in how energy systems can be made more resilient to changing weather patterns and how the meteorological community can provide the tools and products, such as resource forecasts and knowledge of interannual variability, that support a successful energy transformation to renewables and carbon-free sources.

Next week I move over to the Kerry Hotel in the Pudong District to participate in the 12th SNEC 2018 International Photovoltaic Power Generation and Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition.  ISES is an Institutional Supporter of the SNEC 2018 Conference.  The Conference and Exhibition are initiated by a number of key Chinese organizations, including ISES’ Section in China, the Chinese Renewable Energy Society (CRES), and The Asia Pacific Photovoltaic Industry Association (APVIA).  I will be giving a speech titled “Significant Opportunities for Solar Energy Technologies in the Global Energy Transformation” during the opening plenary session this coming Sunday, May 27.  Prof. Eicke Weber, the ISES Vice President, will be joining me in that plenary to give a speech titled “The Transformation of the Global Energy System Towards Sustainability”.    Later on Sunday I will be participating in a Global Solar Associations meeting, and on Monday I will chair the “Advanced PV Technology” Plenary.

In my plenary talk I will emphasize the continuing need to focus on three core areas to ensure that there is a successful and substantial growth in PV deployments worldwide that enjoys widespread and strong public support: 

  1. continued innovation to improve on the efficiency and cost effectiveness of PV technologies and their balance of systems;
  2. availability of tools to ensure that adequate financing is available at low risk to the investors to drive the growth; and
  3. a continued effort to establish effective global policies (such as the Paris Climate agreement) as well as national and local policies that are meaningful and predictable to the industry, and that create a healthy investment environment. 

I will touch upon some recent studies of interest, such as Shell’s Sky scenarios for rapid growth in renewable energy for all sectors between now and 2050.  However, I will also make note of recent studies that argue against the transformation to 100% renewables and point out counter arguments against these studies.

ISES is a founding member of the Global Solar Council, and has served on its Board of Directors since the organization was formally launched during the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015.  The organization has members from national and regional PV associations, corporations, and non-profits such as ISES to serve as a global voice for advancing the photovoltaic industry.  This year the Asia Pacific Photovoltaic Industry Association (APVIA) is providing secretariat support to the GSC and will be hosting the next meeting of the Board, which will be held at the Kerry Hotel on 29 May.  This will be our second Board meeting of 2018 (a few months ago I reported on the first meeting of 2018, which was held in Abu Dhabi on 15 January).  The meeting is important in that the GSC will be undertaking a reevaluation of its work program to enhance its effectiveness towards advancing the energy transformation and supporting the global PV industry.

In the months to come I will be providing further reports on events such as these.  In the mean time I do hope you choose to stay connected with ISES, to follow and participate in the work that we are doing with our publications, webinars, and conferences, and, of course, to enjoy our monthly newsletters.