Landmark EU Solar Strategy SolarPower Europe Response

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Andreas Gucklhorn)

A new dawn for European solar as the European Commission substantially increases 2030 solar targets to 740 GWdc, recognising solar’s central role in delivering for Europe’s security, economic, and climate goals.

As part of package of announcements, the European Commission proposes a Rooftop Initiative, an Industry Alliance, and a Skills Partnership for EU solar. The EU draft renewable target for 2030 is increased to 45 per cent, coming alongside guidance to accelerate project permitting in EU member states.

Today the European Commission has launched the landmark EU Solar Strategy. In light of the war in Ukraine, and the ensuing impact on energy security, as well as record energy prices, the Strategy comes months ahead of its initially foreseen summer publication.

“…We are increasing the 2030 target for EU renewable energy from 40 per cent to 45 per cent. And we come with a host of actions to scale up and speed up the clean energy transition. For example, we are proposing to speed up permitting procedures for renewables and associated infrastructure like grids. We are proposing a solar rooftop obligation for commercial and public buildings by 2025 and for new residential buildings by 2029. This is ambitious but realistic..”, said European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen.

“By 2030 the share of wind and solar energy in power production capacities should double from the current level of 33 per cent to 67 per cent and by then solar energy will also be the largest electricity source in the EU with more than half coming from rooftops”, said EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson at a subsequent press conference.

The unprecedented EU Solar Strategy sets out a 592 GWac target for EU solar by 2030 – equivalent to 740 GWdc, the unit preferred by industry. This target is higher than SolarPower Europe Global Market Outlook business-as-usual projections of 672 GWdc by the end of the decade. From initial Fit for 55 package proposals that translated into 420 GWac of solar, today’s new 592 GWac goal increases EU solar ambition by 41 per cent.

Photo-illustration: Unsplash (Sungrow Emea)

While the European Commission steps up solar ambition, a new proposed amendment to the Renewable Energy Directive, sees the Commission step up renewable ambition as a whole. The draft amendment includes a newly proposed 45 per cent renewable target for 2030, in line with SolarPower Europe’s ‘Yes to 45 per cent RES’ campaign.

“Today is a watershed moment for EU solar, the continent’s energy security, and European climate commitments. The new EU Solar Strategy 740 GWdc target brings us that much closer to the Terawatt age of European solar. Along with a 45 per cent renewable target, solar and wind are more empowered than ever to shield citizens from high energy prices. The European solar sector is ready to scale up and deliver on the ambition set out today”, said Walburga Hemetsberger, CEO of SolarPower Europe.

Source: SolarPower Europe