TOP 10 countries in Europe for newly installed solar power in 2015

Growing PV sector


Due to its dynamic expansion, the PV sector has firmly established itself in the energy supply chain within just a few years. At the end of 2015, installed PV capacity in Europe was almost 100,000 MW. Solar energy is also booming internationally and is increasing in prevalence in countries such as China, Japan and the United States due to strong market dynamics.




The UK, Germany and France among the top three


The European PV market is growing steadily and continually, with European countries accounting for 16 percent of the approximately 50,000 MW installed worldwide in 2015. A top country for new installations is the UK, with an increase of 3,500 MW – compared to 2,400 MW in 2013. This makes the UK one of the countries in Europe with the highest installed PV capacity. But Germany (1,400 MW) and France (930 MW) are also in the top third in terms of new installations. They are followed by the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy which likewise count among the European countries with the greatest amount of installed solar capacity.


New installations wanted


Any talk of a crisis of the PV sector generally refers to adjustments to the compensation schemes in the various European countries. In Germany, for example, the government’s 2,500 MW ceiling for new installations was not reached in 2015, leaving plenty of room for the further development of PV systems in the near future.


The solar thermal market in Europe


Although the European solar thermal market has been in decline since 2008, the European markets are among the world’s most important solar energy markets in international comparison. By the end of 2014, Europe had installed glazed solar thermal collectors with a total capacity of approximately 32,000 MWth. Compared to the worldwide total installed capacity of around 348,000 MWth, this corresponds to a share of almost ten percent. The newly installed solar capacity of 630 MWth makes Germany the most important solar thermal market in Europe.


Solar thermal power plants


The installation of so-called solar thermal power plants is becoming an increasingly interesting option. These require a sufficiently high insolation potential, which makes them particularly suitable for commercial CSP applications in Southern European countries. Spain has already realised several projects, and with a total installed capacity of 2,300 MW at the end of 2015, the country has the highest CSP capacity of any country in the world.