The European solar market is growing even more than anticipated in 2018, in part due to the expiry of the Minimum Import Price (MIP) and trade duties on modules and cells from Asia that has lowered solar prices and triggered demand in Europe. SolarPower Europe’s Q3 market update indicates that Europe will add 12.6 GW in 2018, up 37% from 9.2 GW in 2017. Demand in EU-28 is expected to grow even faster and reach 9.5 GW in 2018, a 61% increase from the 5.9 GW installed in 2017.
Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe said, “Solar is exceeding our projections, in our Global Market Outlook published in June we predicted that 2018 installations in Europe would grow year-on-year by 34% and in EU-28 by 45%, we have already surpassed these figures. This is in part thanks to the removal of the trade measures in September, which kept the price of solar at an artificially high level in Europe. By removing the duties, solar is now the cheapest form of electricity in many EU countries – this means that many more consumers and national governments can invest in solar”.
Schmela added “Now that we have market prices for solar in Europe, we expect to see a further boost in demand that will help reinvigorate the European solar sector. This will also help EU manufacturers along the solar value chain through increased demand for their products. As we head into a new growth phase, it is important to put in place an industrial competitiveness strategy for the entire EU solar value chain that will ensure a strong and competitive solar sector and see Europe take global leadership on solar.”
Aurélie Beauvais, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe said, “Solar is one of the most cost competitive clean energy technologies in Europe, thus it is of utmost importance to ensure that the upcoming electricity market design is fit for solar, by enabling small-scale solar, active consumers and securing appropriate rules for storage, demand response and aggregation to provide new services. With the right market design, solar power as the lowest-cost clean energy technology will undoubtedly fast-track the European energy transition.”