Top 10 countries in Europe for newly-installed solar power in 2016:
Growth of the solar power industry
More and more photovoltaic plants are being installed in Europe – 6.9 gigawatts of power were added last year. This is reported by the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, SolarPower Europe, in Brussels. Due to this dynamic expansion, the PV sector has become an established player in electricity supply alongside wind power. Solar power is becoming increasingly competitive in comparison to fossil fuels, which is in large part due to new EU regulations for the solar industry.
PV: the cheapest way to produce electricity
Asian markets such as China are catching up however, both in terms of production and new solar power installations. A special development in 2016 was that the first solar power purchase agreements were concluded. In many regions of the world, these agreements represent the most cost-effective way to obtain electricity. Even in many parts of Europe, solar power has become more cost-effective than other technologies, making it increasingly attractive.
New solar power objectives:
Important political framework conditions are currently being initiated at EU level to further motivate investment in photovoltaics. The so-called Clean Energy Package which was recently introduced by the EU Commission contains concrete growth targets for the PV industry. The European Photovoltaic Industry Association – SolarPower Europe – expects a 35 percent increase in the development of renewable energies by 2030. Europe has not only inspired many regions of the world in the use of renewable energies, but will also continue to be a driving force in the energy transition of the future.
Germany is leading the way:
PV capacity with a total output of 75,000 MW was installed last year. Even though the European solar market has seen a slight decline in terms of new installations, Europe still accounted for around nine percent of worldwide installations in 2016 (6,700 MW). Great Britain remained the European leader in 2016 (1,940 MW) and now has a total installed capacity of over 11,500 MW. Germany occupies second place, with new installations totalling 1,525 MW, followed by Turkey with newly-installed capacity of 584 MW.