The unprecedented EU Solar Strategy aims to provide the right framework to massively deploy solar PV energy in Europe, and sets out new objectives of almost 320 GWac (400 GWdc) by 2025 and almost 600 GWac target for EU solar by 2030 – equivalent to 750 GWdc. This target is higher than SolarPower Europe Global Market Outlook business-as-usual projections of 672 GWdc by the end of the decade. From the initial Fit for 55 package proposals that translated into 420 GWac of solar, today’s new 592 GWac goal increases EU solar ambition by 43%.
The strategy includes three dimensions: facilitated deployment of solar PV, access to sustainable solar products, and a strengthening of international cooperation in the field of solar energy. Among the flagship measures proposed:
A new European Solar Rooftops Initiative sets the objective of adding 19 TWh (i.e. 16 to 19 GW) of rooftop solar in the first year of its implementation and 58 TWh by 2025 (i.e. 50.7 to 58 GW).
The main element to achieve these objectives is the introduction of a solar mandate on all new public and commercial buildings with useful floor area larger than 250 m² by 2026, on all existing public and commercial buildings with useful floor area larger than 250 m² by 2027, and on all new residential buildings by 2029.
The EU proposes to ensure that at least one renewable energy community is set up in every municipality with a population higher than 10,000 people by 2025. It will also support member states in implementing collective self-consumption and energy community frameworks.
A new EU Solar PV Industry Alliance was launched in December 2022. The alliance will promote investment in large-scale factories, aiming for 30 GW of manufacturing of each key solar component, annually, by 2025 – more than six times the current average capacity of around 4.5 GW.
The Alliance will build on SolarPower Europe and EIT InnoEnergy’s European Solar Initiative and will provide advice to the EU and the Member States, as well as facilitating match-making between producers and off-takers.
It will also map and coordinate funding from relevant EU programmes, including InvestEU, the Innovation Fund, the Recovery and Resilience Fund and Cohesion Policies.
A new EU Solar Skills Partnership, which should be part of a larger scale skills partnership for onshore renewable energy.
The partnership, still to be operationalised, will develop a clear understanding of the concrete up- and reskilling measures needed, and foster cooperation between industry, social partners, training providers and regional authorities, and unlock EU funding.
Additionally, Member States are encouraged to analyse the skills gap in the solar sector and to develop corresponding training programs. The partnership will take into account the potential to increase the participation of women in the sector.