As most of us return to work, the Summer might seem a long time ago, but the remarkably sunny Summer helped solar power achieve many new records, while other electricity generation technologies struggled.
James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe commented ‘Across Europe, records came tumbling down. In the UK, solar broke the record for weekly output between 21 and 28 June, producing 533 gigawatt hours of power, which led solar to take over from gas as the number one energy source in the country during that period. In July, solar also reached a new high in Germany, with a record solar power production of 6.17 TWh. Denmark registered 361 hours of sunshine in May, which lead to an increase of 33% in solar electricity production, smashing previous records.’
Aurelie Beauvais, Policy Director of SolarPower Europe added ‘Meanwhile large scale solar stepped in as conventional energy failed. For example, in France and Germany both coal and nuclear power plants had to be powered down as they could no longer use the huge volumes of water needed to cool their power stations – resulting in intermittent supply from such installations. Fortunately, solar was on hand to deliver the power that these technologies could not deliver and as such solar kept the power grid stable and delivering for Europe’s consumers.’
Ms Beauvais added ‘Solar owners have also reaped remarkably high yields, showing the importance of small scale installations for the energy transition to be a success. This is why the Electricity Market Design legislation must encourage small scale installations and provide a truly supportive framework for them to thrive.’
Watson continued ‘One of the side effects of this year’s heatwave has been a record amount of solar electricity production. In country after country, solar has set impressive new milestones confirming the important role of solar in Europe’s electricity mix.’