Seb Berry joins the Board of EPIA

We’re pleased to announce that Seb Berry, Solarcentury’s Head of External Affairs, has been appointed to the Board of EPIA (The European Photovoltaic Industry Association). He is the only representative of a British-headquartered company to be appointed. Seb is also on the Board of the STA.

Seb joined Solarcentury in 2001 and is still one of the very few in-house lobbying specialists working in the UK sector. As such, he has been at the forefront of the PV industry’s lobbying efforts for over a decade.

Frans van den Heuvel commented: “We’re delighted at his appointment and extremely proud of Seb and his considerable achievements. He has played a critical role in supporting the growth of the UK solar industry and it’s good news for the sector that he is now more involved across Europe.”

Seb Berry said: “Ten very long years ago Solarcentury joined EPIA. Back in 2004, the annual UK market was a massive 2.2 MWp! Then if anyone had predicted that in 2013, the UK would install 1.5 GWp, no one would have believed you.
“If EPIA had predicted then that the UK would be one of the largest European member state markets in 2014, again no one would have believed you.
“And if anyone had said then that the UK would put in place a PV feed-in tariff that would deliver half a million domestic installations, people would have assumed you to be quite mad.
“But we’ve done all of those things. And throughout this period, Solarcentury has been right at the forefront of the UK sector, innovating, market-building and manufacturing, as well as growing in other European markets and internationally.
“In our 10 years of EPIA membership, Solarcentury has never stood for election. No-one can accuse us of being pushy Brits in Brussels. If only the same thing could be said for some of the UKs politicians! But given the huge growth and significance of the UK market over the last 2 years, we do believe that the time is now right to have a UK representative on the EPIA Board.”

On the immediate policy challenges facing the European sector, Seb said that “Publication of the Commission’s draft Energy Aid guidelines just before Christmas was yet another reminder of the importance of Europe to the future of national support programmes. It’s vital that the EU and Member States get the transition to a more competitive support regime right. So EPIA must continue to take the lead in pushing back against the current very damaging State Aid proposals and we need to be even more pro-active in working alongside national associations to ensure a proper policy glide path to grid parity and a true “stand alone” sector.”

He added “It’s important that EPIA continues to be representative of the entire sector so we’re also urging other companies active in our core markets to take out EPIA membership, to get involved and help to make a difference.”

And in support of Seb’s nomination to the Board of EPIA, the STA said: “The STA strongly supports the nomination of Seb Berry to the EPIA Board. Seb is heavily relied upon by the STA for his policy knowledge at both UK and EU level. He is excellent at fighting and articulating the industry’s case and speaks from the platform of one of the most highly respected and ethical companies in the UK. Seb is also very well networked across the industry, the media and with decision-makers, and will be a big asset to EPIA.”