SolarPower Europe launched its annual report EU Market Outlook for Solar Power revealing that European Union member states installed 18.2 GW of solar PV power capacity in 2020, representing an 11% improvement over the 16.2 GW deployed in the previous year, which makes 2020 the strongest growth year ever for solar in the EU since 2011.
Top 5 EU solar markets
SolarPower Europe’s EU Market Outlook for Solar Power 2020–2024 report shows that Germany is again the largest solar market in Europe, a position it held for most of the time over the last 20 years, interrupted only six times, once by Italy, twice by Spain and three times by the UK.
Germany added 4.8 GW, followed by the Netherlands, which added a capacity of 2.8 GW. Spain, last year’s market leader, added 2.6 GW, with nearly 1.5 GW of this coming from PPA-based systems, making it the world’s largest market for subsidy-free solar. Poland installed 2.2 GW in 2020, more than double its capacity from last year, and France added 945 MW, crossing the 10 GW total capacity threshold.
In total, these European Union’s top 5 solar markets were responsible for 74% of the 2020 installed capacity in the region compared to a 5% points higher share (79%) in 2019. That means, even though the contribution of the other 22 EU member states remains rather small, it is notably rising.
The cumulative installed capacity of solar in the EU reached 137.2 GW in 2020, with 22 of 27 EU member states installing more than the year before.
EU solar market prospects
The report projects 22.4 GW of solar to be added in 2021, 27.4 GW in 2022, 30.8 GW in 2023, and 35 GW in 2024, bringing total installed capacity to 252 GW.
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said:
“It has been a difficult year for all sectors, and so it is very positive to finish 2020 with such a clear endorsement for solar power. Despite the impact of COVID-19, solar has not only grown, it has thrived, proving it to be a resilient, predictable, and secure technology where other energy sources failed. Europe is now on track to become the first climate-neutral continent in the world and solar can help achieve this goal, by not only providing renewable and flexible energy, but also creating millions of jobs and ensuring a just transition for all Europeans.”
Source: Press release by SolarPower Europe.