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EU solar energy increases by almost 50% in 2022: which country has installed the most?

origin 1Solar panels are installed in a floating photovoltaic system on a lake in Haltern. ©AP Photo/Martin Meissner, archive

Solar power in Europe has increased by nearly 50% in 2022, according to a new report from industry group SolarPower Europe.

It reveals that the EU has installed a record 41.4 GW of solar this year – enough to power the equivalent of 12.4 million homes. This is a 47% increase from the 28.1 GW installed in 2021.

In one year, the block’s capacity to generate energy from this renewable source increased by 25%.

“The numbers speak for themselves. Solar offers a lifeline in between energy and climate crisis”, says Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe.

“No other energy source is growing as rapidly or as reliably as solar.”

And solar growth shows no signs of slowing down. International Energy Agency says EU needs to install around 60 GW of solar in 2023 to make up for shortfalls Russian gas.

With fast and targeted support, SolarPower Europe believes that Europe could fill this gap.

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Which EU countries are installing the most solar energy?

There are 10 EU countries now adding at least 1 GW of solar energy per year.

Germany has installed more solar than any other country in the bloc, adding nearly 8 GW in 2022. The country has held the top spot since the early 2000s, but has seen a big boost in the past year as high energy prices have made the source of renewable energy a convenient solution.

It was followed closely by Spain (7.5 GW) which reported a 55% increase in solar installation in 2022. This was partly due to the growth of rooftop solar panels and the energy crisis.

origin 1Part of a new solar park outside the northern Greek city of Kozani.AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis

Poland (4.9 GW), the Netherlands (4.0 GW) and France (2.7 GW) make up the rest of the top five countries.

Portugal it finished just behind France, its first time in the top 10, with a staggering 251% growth in the amount of solar energy installed compared to 2021.

The top of the ranking was completed by Denmark, Greece and Sweden.

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How can the EU install even more solar energy in 2023?

The REPowerEU plan it aims to scale up renewable energy to 45% of the bloc’s energy supply by 2030. The report highlights five main ways the EU can ride the rapidly growing solar wave and achieve this goal.

He says more qualified technicians are needed install panels and connect them to the mains. Training more people to do this job could boost the growth rate of solar energy in the EU.

SolarPower Europe also says that regulations must remain stable and administrative procedures simplified to encourage more solar installations.

The stability of the electricity grid and the European production of solar panels they must also be improved to remove the obstacles that prevent growth.

It’s more than time to get serious about solar. That means tackling barriers head-on.

“It is more than time to take solar seriously. This means addressing barriers head on,” says Dries Acke, director of policy at SolarPower Europe.

“We need more electricians and stable regulation of the electricity market. A solar-powered Europe can only build on smoother administrative processes, faster grid connections and resilient supply chains.”

Fortunately, says the industry group, Europe is already hearing these calls from the solar sector and has several of these recommendations in its 2023 agenda.