Grids & Flexibility

Solar PV and storage penetration in the grid is accelerating faster than ever

Solar PV penetration in the grid is accelerating faster than ever: in 2021 we installed the most solar power in Europe’s in history and the annual market growth is set to continue exponentially. By 2025, solar will be the leading installed energy capacity in Europe, according to the IEA.

This will represent a challenge for the grid. To connect an increased amount of projects, Europe will need to accelerate investments into modernizing and developing its power infrastructure. Resources to improve flexibility are increasingly needed in the electricity system.

The future electricity system will continue to be decentralised and integrated. Electrification of end-uses, such as heating or transport, represent an opportunity for a higher integration with local solar generation. Solar prosumers and energy communities are developing to optimise energy consumption and generation at local level.

The solar industry is highly innovative. New technologies can support a 24/7 renewable grid. These technologies include: solar with smart power plant controllers, grid forming inverters, standalone battery storage or co-located solar and storage projects, and hybrid solar and wind projects. Together, they are ready to take on the 100% renewable, decentralised energy system challenge.

In SolarPower Europe's 100% renewable electricity scenarios, 85% of electricity is generated within the region where demand originates.

Investments in power grids in 2020-2030, including in smart grids and digitalisation of the grid, need to triple compared to the previous decade.

Flexibility sources, such as battery storage and demand-side response, need to increase dramatically to at least 4,500 TWh of storage output by 2050. A quarter of it is battery storage.

The advanced capabilities of solar technologies coupled with other renewable-based solutions make a 100% renewable energy system possible, and more cost-effective than alternative scenarios.

The Grids & Flexibility workstream

The Grids & Flexibility workstream

SolarPower Europe’s Grids & Flexibility workstream explores how to integrate more solar PV in the energy system and will pave the way towards the future, decentralised, decarbonised electricity system based on 100% renewable electricity. Working with members, SolarPower Europe prospects how planning practices, grid connection procedures and requirements, and grid tariffs must modernise to optimise investment into grid deployment and incentivise use of wire alternatives. The workstream will propose a strategy to develop decentralised solar capacity and prosumers in Europe, unlocking their flexibility potential.

The workstream will also represent the solar industry to European TSOs, DSO organisations and energy regulators, and feed into ENTSO-E European Stakeholders Committees in charge of the implementation of European network codes. The workstream will also contribute to the drafting of future European network codes, on Demand-Side Flexibility, Cybersecurity and Data interoperability.

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"Now is the moment to contribute to the future of a decarbonised European energy system. There are various important legislative projects like the Fit-for-55 Package and the Gas Decarbonisation Package."

Torsten Knop - EON and Chair of the Grids & Flexibility workstream

Interview with Torsten Knop, chair of the Grids & Flexibility Workstream

The Grids & Flexibility Workstream of SolarPower Europe is a group that unites actors from completely different perspectives in their search for the best solutions to enable solar PV. This is unique among European associations.

Read the interview
Grids & Flexibility workstream Chair
Grids & Flexibility workstream Vice Chair
Members of the Grids & Flexibility workstream