SolarPower Europe has launched the EU Market Outlook for Solar Power, 2020-2024. The solar PV sector is no stranger to positive surprises – in recent years this has included surpassing expectations in terms of steep cost reduction, flexibility, user-friendliness, manifold applications, and its rapid growth rate. However, the latest entry in this list has been a really big surprise: newly installed solar power in the European Union increased by 11% to 18.2 GW in 2020! Not only did demand for solar PV systems in the EU grow over the course of a year that was defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, it increased by double digits to a level that marks the second-best ever in EU solar history. There was not a single analyst who forecasted such a positive outcome six month ago, especially considering the fear of a ‘second wave’ haunting Europe this autumn and winter.
The Key Policy Files that SolarPower Europe is intensively working on are briefly summarised in Chapter 2 showing the crucial topics under discussion to speed up solar growth, including ambitions for the Clean Energy Package 2.0, how to tackle the gap on carbon pricing, initiatives to tap Europe’s gigantic solar roof potential, and constraints of the power grid. In our Policy Recommendations, we explain how member states can boost solar by utilising the European Commission’s economic recovery plan. Applying these means correctly is a unique opportunity to invest into solar as the most job intensive and flexible renewable energy source to accelerate the clean energy transition. This is because the member states’ National Energy & Climate Plans (NECPs) outlining their strategies to meet the 2030 EU targets do take solar into consideration but need to do much more, as our analysis in Chapter 3 shows.
Through this report, SolarPower Europe, together with its national association and corporate members, looks forward to helping policy stakeholders enable solar to deliver on its immense potential to meet the EU’s 2030 targets, providing the maximum benefit for Europe’s climate, and contributing significantly to the European Green Deal.
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