New report: EU solar reaches record heights of 56 GW in 2023 but warns of clouds on the horizon

Press Release

12 December 2023

  • SolarPower Europe’s new European Market Outlook for Solar Power 2023-2027 reveals a record 56 GW of solar installations in Europe in 2023. This marks the third year of annual growth rates of at least 40%. 


  • The annual report predicts slower growth in 2024, with the annual market set to increase by only 11% - delivering 62 GW. 


  • Germany has returned to the number one slot of Europe’s solar ranking, installing 14.1 GW in 2023. Germany is followed by Spain (8.2 GW), Italy (4.8 GW), Poland (4.6 GW), and the Netherlands (4.1 GW) rounding out the top five.


  • 2023 also brings a new era for solar in Central and Eastern Europe, with three newcomers reaching the threshold of at least 1 GW of solar a year; Czechia, Bulgaria, and Romania.


  • Solar delivered for the energy crisis, with the sector’s effort coming within just a few gigawatts to the International Energy Agency’s recommendation to install around 60 GW of solar power in 2023 to compensate for the phase out of Russian gas.



BRUSSELS, Belgium (Tuesday 12th December 2023): Almost 17 million more European homes were powered by solar in 2023, due to a 40% growth in solar installations from 2022. Compared to the 40 GW of solar installed in 2022, 2023 brought 55.9 GW of new solar capacity across the EU27. 

European Market Outlook for Solar Power 2023-2027

New solar in Europe in 2023. A booming rooftop segment. Challenges for manufacturing. Country-by-country analysis.

Discover the report

2023’s solar growth brought solar within a few GW of meeting the IEA target to compensate for the Russian gas shortfall. The total EU solar fleet now amounts to 263 GW, up 27% from the 207 GW in 2022.


Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe said; “Solar has continued to deliver for Europe in crisis with record-breaking installations. Now as solar hits its own turning point, Europe must deliver for solar. We are not yet installing the average 70 GW annually needed to meet our 2030 solar targets. It’s clear policymakers can’t afford to be complacent for the rest of the decade.”


Germany has returned to the number one slot of Europe’s solar ranking, installing 14.1 GW in 2023, having been temporarily dethroned by Spain in 2022. Germany also now hold’s the record for the most solar installed by an EU country in one year, taking over Italy’s 12-year record of 9.3 GW in 2012. Spain (8.2 GW), Italy (4.8 GW), Poland (4.6 GW), and the Netherlands (4.1 GW) follow Germany and round out the top five EU solar markets.

Driven by the lingering impact of the energy crisis, a large extent of 2023 growth stems from delayed 2022 installations. The final months of 2023 were much quieter than the start of the year. Looking toward 2024, the report forecasts slower growth, with a year-on-year increase of only 11%. This marks a departure from three years of at least  40% annual growth. 


Dries Acke, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe said; “Fortunately, it’s no longer extreme energy prices which are driving solar growth. That does mean; however, the onus is back on policymakers to ensure good investment conditions for solar. We cannot accept grid connection times of more than 4 years, we cannot allow slow local progress on permitting, we cannot risk trade barriers slowing deployment, nor miss the chance to re-shore European solar manufacturing.”


The EU rooftop solar market grew by 54% year-on-year, particularly amongst commercial and industrial customers, however, the market share of utility-scale declined by 6% in 2023 for a number of reasons. 

Delayed auctions, higher grid fees, an inflationary environment, alongside permitting and grid connection issues still make life difficult for solar developers in many regions despite EU-level legislation. All combined, this means that new utility-scale solar in Europe reached 19 GW in 2023, compared to 16 GW in 2022. By comparison, rooftop solar grew from 24 GW in 2022 to 37 GW in 2023. 


The report also includes the annual stocktake of solar manufacturing in Europe. Against a European target of 30 GW of manufacturing across the supply chain, and a precarious background of bankruptcies, the picture of capacity at each step in the chain remains starkly different:

  • Inverter capacity in Europe, though not part of the 30 GW target, has grown by 14% from 2022 to reach 82 GW in 2023.


  • Polysilicon capacity took a hit due to bankruptcy and has declined by 12% since 2022.


  • Ingot manufacturing in Europe has also faced challenges, with a temporary suspension of Europe’s remaining 1 GW of capacity in 2023.


  • Wafers have potential growth by 2025 but remain limited to 1.3 GW capacity in 2023 – which has also paused production for now.


  • Solar cell manufacturing has grown from 1.4 GW to 2 GW in 2023.


  • Module manufacturing currently stands at around 14.6 GW, 59% higher than 2022.


As it stands, less than 2% of Europe’s current demand for solar could be met with European-produced solar PV.

Questions? Get in touch.

Bethany Meban
Head of Press and Policy Communications

+32 492 97 82 48
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