The SolarPower Europe Annual Report states that the EU installed 41.4 GW of PV in 2022, a 47 percent increase from the 28.1 GW installed in 2021.
Thus, bringing total installed capacity to 208.9 GW. Germany continues to lead Europe in installations, followed by Spain and Poland.
New record for PV installations in Europe in 2022
This is reported in the EU Market Outlook for Solar Power 2022-2026 published by SolarPower Europe. 2022 ended with 41.4 GW of new capacity, up 47 percent from 28.1 GW in 2021.
In the face of an unprecedented energy crisis and growing energy security concerns, total EU solar power capacity increased by 25 percent in just one year, from 167.5 GW to 208.9 GW in 2022.
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe pointed out, “The numbers are clear. Solar is offering Europe a lifeline in an energy and climate crisis. No other energy source is growing as fast and reliably as photovoltaics.”
Estimates point to growth in the sector in the coming years as well. According to the Medium Scenario, the forecast for 2023 is 53.6 GW more solar power in the EU, rising to at least 85 GW of new solar power per year by 2026.
The International Energy Agency recommends that the EU install about 60 GW of solar power in 2023 to make up for shortfalls in Russian gas supply. With rapid and targeted support, PV power in a High Scenario could reach up to 67.8 GW of installations in 2023.
For this growth to happen, however, permitting processes need to be simplified and various barriers removed.
The association identifies five key points that require action by European and national decision makers:
- increase the number of certified solar installers and the skilled workforce;
- ensure regulatory stability and certainty for investors in the solar and renewable energy sector;
- enable greater integration of solar PV into the grid, especially at the distribution level;
- improve land-use planning and permitting procedures;
- ensure sustainable and reliable solar PV supply chains.
The major markets in the EU
There are currently ten EU countries that have reached GW-scale installation levels by 2021.
Germany leads the pack, with nearly 8 GW installed in 2022, followed by Spain (7.5 GW), Poland (4.9 GW), the Netherlands (4.0 GW) and France (2.7 GW).
In 2022, 26 of the 27 EU member states installed more solar power than in the previous year.
Global PV reaches 2 Terawatt milestone
Global solar capacity doubled in 3 years from 2018. Bringing the global PV fleet to a capacity of one Terawatt in April 2022.
The global market is continuing to grow exponentially. It took about a decade for global solar capacity to reach 1 TW, up from 100 GW in 2012. In just 3 years, SolarPower Europe predicts that global solar will more than double, reaching 2.3 TW in 2025.
Photovoltaics is the fastest growing technology, accounting for more than half of the 302 GW of renewable capacity installed internationally in 2021. With 168 GW of additions, solar installed more than 70 GW more than wind and more than all non-solar renewables combined.
In 2021, China, with an annual growth rate of 14 percent and an all-time high of 54.9 GW of new PV energy, maintained its market leadership.
Thus doubling the United States, the second-largest market, which still recorded a +42 percent increase in installed PV energy in 2021 over 2020. India positions itself in third position with around 14.2 GW of PV power installed.
Read also: All about the RePowerEu, the European plan for energetic autonomy