Views: 215 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2023-02-06 Origin: Site
According to a study carried out by energy think tank Ember, solar power generation in the European Union rose sharply last year as adoption rose in major countries.
The European Electricity Review shows that EU solar capacity will grow by 24% to 203TWh in 2021 from 164TWh in 2021. This increase brought solar's share of the electricity mix to 7.3%, up 1.6 percentage points from the previous year (5.7%).
20 EU countries set for record solar in 2022
Germany was the country with the highest electricity generation at 59TWh (10% of its electricity mix), an increase of 9.6TWh or 20% year-on-year. Spain (+5.7TWh, +21%), the Netherlands (5.8TWh, +51%), France (4.3TWh, +27%) and Poland (4.1TWh, +104%) also saw substantial increases.
Germany generates almost twice as much electricity as Spain, which is the second-highest solar-generating EU country (33TWh, or 12% of its electricity mix).
Largest solar generator in the EU
The report also examines the largest increases in solar power generation in different countries. Lithuania tops the list with a year-on-year growth of more than 120% in solar power generation in 2022, followed by Poland (+100%) and Sweden (+50%).
The largest year-on-year increase in power generation
Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of trade body SolarPower Europe, said: "Solar energy is stepping up, and this is when Europe needs it most. These new figures show that the rapid growth of solar energy is indeed the basis of the energy transition. 2023, with appropriate support, solar energy More records will be broken, further reducing fossil fuel demand and bringing us one step closer to Europe's 100% renewable energy target,"
The share of solar power in the entire EU electricity mix rises from 0% (0.1TWh) in 2000 to 7.3% (203TWh) in 2022.
Solar deployments in Germany and Italy grew significantly in the early 2000s, but both fell to almost zero in 2016. However, since the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015, solar energy has been growing at an average annual rate of 11%.
Following the Paris Agreement, the Netherlands and Hungary were quick to incorporate solar power into their electricity mix. Since 2015, the Netherlands’ solar share has grown from just 1% (1.1TWh) to 14% (17TWh). In Hungary, the share of solar generation increased from 0.5% (0.1TWh) to 13% (4.5TWh) over the same period.
Solar energy share in EU countries
Installed solar capacity in the EU has risen from 103GW in 2018 to 209GW in 2022. In 2023, installed solar capacity could grow by 54GW (medium growth scenario) and up to 68GW (high growth scenario). By 2026, annual new installed capacity is expected to reach 85GW (medium growth scenario) and 120GW (high growth scenario).
European solar capacity to triple by 2026
The report also highlights the importance of the growing solar and wind industries, which accounted for a record 22% of electricity generation in the year, surpassing fossil gas (20%) for the first time.
Coal's share increases by 1.5 percentage points to account for 16% of EU electricity in 2022, falling year-on-year in the last four months of 2022.
EU solar and wind generate more electricity than gas for first time
Dave Jones, Head of Data Insights at Ember, said, "The shock of 2022 has only caused a slight ripple in the coal power sector, while support for renewable energy has formed a huge wave. Any fear of a coal power rebound is now dead gone."
The report added that Europe faced a number of crises in the electricity sector last year. For example, Europe is "scrambling to wean itself off its largest fossil gas supplier" and faces the lowest levels of hydropower and nuclear power in at least two decades, creating a deficit equal to 7% of Europe's total electricity demand in 2022.
But record growth in wind and solar power and lower electricity demand are helping to ease the hydropower and nuclear power deficit. Electricity demand fell by 7.9% in the final quarter of 2022 compared to the same period last year, thanks to factors such as mild weather, economic pressures, improvements in energy efficiency and citizens' solidarity to cut energy demand.