A solar lifeline in times of Energy Crisis
Europe is facing multiple crises: energy, climate, economic.
The Russian war in Ukraine has sent shockwaves across Europe, affecting our energy security and leaving citizens to face volatile energy prices.
We have real solutions at our fingertips. It is time to get ready for solar.
Europeans know this and are rushing to install solar PV on their rooftops. What holds them back are administrative and regulatory obstacles that can readily be removed with political will.
GW of rooftop solar systems installed
GW of utility-scale solar installed
GW of total solar installations
RES Booster - EU Emergency measures to boost renewables
As a response to the current energy security and climate threats, the European Commission approved new emergency regulation to accelerate renewables in Europe. This regulation aims to accelerate the shift away from fossil fuels, spurring on the transition to clean, affordable and reliable energy. The new Regulation is in force in all 27 EU Member States, and is set to apply until the 30th June 2024.
There are three notable actions taken in the RES Booster package:
The RES Booster will fast track permitting procedures for renewables, placing new time limits for projects to be approved. Permitting procedures will now be limited to three months for projects located in rooftops, artificial structures, or integrated on buildings. This three month deadline includes grid connection. In some cases, the deadline can be limited to only one month if the project is under 50 kW.
These new time limits will apply to solar projects on artificial structures, for example projects that will be located on carparks, factory roofs or public transport infrastructure. For this reason, some projects may be able to forego environmental impact assessments under the assumption that they are of overriding public interest.
The RES Booster will support the repowering of existing renewables projects. This means changing something about an existing project to improve it’s efficiency or generation capacity. The deadline for repowering an existing project will be six months, including grid connection and, where relevant, environmental impact assessment.
RES Booster 101: Watch our explainer video series
In 2022, the EU installed a record 41.4 GW of solar capacity, meaning almost 50% market growth from 2021. This is a huge step towards energy security, tackling climate change and reducing energy bills.
Still, we must do more, and do it faster.
“Our baseline expectation for 2023 is that wind and solar PV generation in the European Union will rise by more than 80 TWh compared with last year, displacing around 12 bcm of natural gas. Additional actions could result in a further 55 TWh of output from wind and solar PV (displacing a further 7.5 bcm). This will require a near-doubling of wind and solar PV annual additions in 2023 compared with our baseline expectation, a huge undertaking. This would result in the European Union commissioning around 60 GW of new solar PV, nearly tripling the bloc’s average annual deployment over the last three years.”
Source: International Energy Agency
Solar Powers Heat
Our latest report Solar Powers Heat 2023 shows how solar PV and heat pumps helped protect Europeans from energy price hikes in 2022.
Citizens saved up to 84% on their annual bills in 2022 thanks to their solar PV and heat pump installations.
From sunny Spain to northern Germany, solar PV and heat pumps are a perfect pair, with solar PV contributing signifiantly to heat pump power demand even in winter. At home solar can cover up to 64% of a heat pump's needs annually.
Even beyond the energy crisis, solar PV and heat pumps will continue to save Europeans over 70% on their annual bills.
Citizens are turning to solar
More and more people across the continent are turning to solar for a lifeline through the energy crisis. Through our #SolarSaves campaign, we have met families, farmers, schools and businesses who are benefiting from solar.
Solar saves money, saves on gas consumption, and saves the planet.
21 September 2022 – Letter to Ministers on September Emergency Energy Measures
A letter from SolarPower Europe to EU Energy Ministers and the European Commission, ahead of the extraordinary Energy Council meeting on 30 September 2022 to discuss Commission Emergency Energy Market Measures.
29 April 2022 – Joint industry call: Safeguard the Benefits of the Internal Energy Market
Five European Energy Associations co-sign a letter to the European Commission and Member States asking them to avoid harmful short-term interventionist measures in the market.
9 March 2023 - Solar Powers Heat Report 2023
Solar PV + heat pumps empower households to reduce gas use and save on energy bills. 62% -84% saved on annual energy bills in 2022.