EU Solar Set to Save Additional 4.6 BCM Gas in 2022

Photo: Courtesy of Valburga Hemetsberger

As the European Commission launches its solidarity action to reduce gas consumption this winter, SolarPower Europe reveals the bloc is set to exceed even the highest projections of solar power generation in 2022. Around 39 GW of additional EU solar will be rolled-out before the end of the year, equivalent to 4.6 BCM of Russian gas.

Wednesday 20th July 2022, Brussels: The European Commission has proposed a regulation that sets a voluntary target to reduce gas demand by 15 per cent between 1 August 2022 and 31 March 2023.

The ‘Save Gas for a Safe Winter’ plan would also give the Commission the possibility to declare, after Member State consultation, a mandatory gas demand reduction. The move follows the ear in Ukraine, and is in response to the Kremlin’s weaponisation of energy supply.

The European Commission also points to fuel-switching measures to pre-emptively save gas, including the switch to renewables and solar.

“The role of renewables must continue to be accelerated. As the IMF has recently studied, the cost of transition to renewables is lower than continuing with fossil fuel”, said European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans speaking at the publication of the proposal.

SolarPower Europe‘s mid-year analysis shows that European solar is set to overshoot even our highest deployment projections for 2022, and support the continent’s shift from gas. After breaking a decade-long installation record in 2021 with 27 GW, 2022 is set to see 39 GW of new European solar capacity. 39 GW of additional solar replaces the equivalent of 4.6 BCM of gas.

“Every megawatt of energy generated by solar and renewables is fewer fossil fuels we need from Russia. European solar is rolling out as fast as possible in anticipation of a difficult winter.”

“For this winter, and every winter that follows, Europe needs full focus and attention on accelerating renewables. A real challenge the sector is facing is a critical skills shortage – we risk not having the number of installers and project developers that we need. This cannot be overlooked in strategic planning for European energy security”, said Dries Acke, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe.

Today’s proposal will now go to energy ministers from EU member states, when it will be voted on at next week’s Extraordinary Energy Council meeting (Tuesday 26th).

Source: SolarPower Europe