EU is striving to reach the most cost-efficient trajectory towards climate neutrality by 2050. In order to meet this ambitious goal and successfully reduce 1.5°C for the sake of the climate and human beings.

The solar power landscape of EU 2021 was officially shaped by goals like the proposed 40% renewable energy use target for 2030. However, in practice, factors such as solar project permitting rules, national incentives investments, grid flexibility, on-site solar deployment with integrated energy solutions for building blocks, renewable energy PPA practices within various consumption sectors were playing main roles in their achieved results for solar power installation in each EU member states.

Following are the European Union’s Top 10 solar markets, which were responsible for 90% of total installations in 2021, increasing the share point by 2%, from 88% in 2020.

 

 

Germany

  • acquired 5.3 GWH in the course of 2021 compared to 2020, 4.9 GWH
  • Incentive’s policy: Feed-in tariff for medium- to large-scale commercial systems and auctions for systems up to 10 MW。
  • By eliminating the self-consumption levy but allocating a certain financial burden to larger rooftop self-consumption systems led to the growth of around 8% in 2021.

Spain

  • has reached 3.8 GWH in 2021 from 2020 of 3.5 GWH.
  • A governmental investment of 450M Euro in June 2021 will accelerate countries’ self-consumption systems.

Netherlands

  • gained 3.2 GWH from the level of 2.9 GWH in 2020.
  • Main market drivers are:
    1. Commercial rooftop market
    2. Net-metering backed residential segment
    3. Ground-mounted systems
  • Other market highlights:
    1. multi-functional PV applications are in demand of the market, floating solar or solar carports.
    2. Commercial, industrial, and utility-scale markets are relying on the SDE++ tendering scheme.

Poland

  • increased its installation by 3.1 GWH in 2021 with 28% growth from 2020 (2.5 GWH).
  • Major market drivers from a net-metering system complemented with a rebate scheme for residential systems and reduced VAT and income taxes.

The micro-generation segment is regulated by the RES auction scheme and solar won a much higher volume with around 1.2 GWH compared to other renewable energy projects.

 

France

  • has made a breakthrough with 2.5 GWH in 2021 while it was only 0.8 GWH in 2020.
  • While there is 8 GWH need to be fulfilled by the end of 2023 in order to meet its target of 20 GWH.
  • We also look forward to seeing the right policy frameworks to enlarge the value of self-consumed power by the prosumer segment in France.

Greece

  • has tripled its annual PV deployment with 1.6 GWH in 2021, notably up from 0.5 GWH connected to the grid in 2020.
  • The major market driver was small ground-mounted PV projects with up to 500 KW installed capacity.
  • The government will also extend the feed-in premium until the end of 2022.

Denmark

  • skyrocketed its annual installed capacity 6-fold to 1.2 GWH during 2021.
  • Even lack of subsidies for corporate buyers, utility-scale PV power plants were still dominated the Gigawatt-scale installation in 2021.
  • On the residential side as well the C&I segments, the market growth was driven by the help of financial incentives but with negligible volumes.

Italy

  • brought only 0.8 GWH newly installed capacity in 2021 as the sunniest economy in the EU due to severe permitting issues and disappointing auction results.

Hungary

  • By showing great interest in rooftop installations up to 50KW from residential and commercial segments, Hungary made a great leap in solar energy trajectory. Nation expects a new solar subsidy scheme to reduce the country’s energy poverty.

Sweden

  • Thanks to tax incentives and grants and alongside the solar PPA segments Sweden surprised the solar market with 0.7 GWH in 2021.

 

If we take into account the population and look at how much solar power by per capita, then a few countries will leave and some will come back on the map.

 

 

According to Solar Power Europe “despite adverse market conditions on various fronts – from the continued negative effects of COVID-19 on our daily lives to PV product supply shortages and consequent solar module price hikes. Europe has made significant progress over the past year.

Nonetheless, to further build a more resilient and balanced renewable power energy system. Several strategies and implementation are raised by Solar Power Europe, here we have gathered the main parts of the challenges and corresponding strategical practices. This is a short summary that can be your business implication with a forward-year focus if you are within energy storage around like us.

In 2021, Some EU solar projects are impacted by their national permitting rules which significantly the country’s solar installation capacity. Therefore, permitting procedures are suggested to be simplified with aims to facilitate the solar deployment which helps more solar projects in practice get easier.

On-site solar is another initiative to tackle GHG (Green House Gas) from building block GHG. The Recast Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) sets a useful indicative benchmark on EU buildings to use at least 49% of renewable energy by 2030.

The recast Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBDII) to mainstream solar and storage in all building renovations require Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and include minimum requirements to deploy on-site solar and storage (Mandatory Performance Standards) to promote integrated energy renovation.

With a higher priority within corporate segments for PPA (Renewable energy Power Purchase Agreement) before, the EU realizes that should not delay the private solar installation sector as well, the procurement of solar energy is called for more cost-efficient and attractive prices to promote further adoption.

Ecodesign Directive and the Energy Labelling Regulation as part of the EU Green Deal sustainable product policy agenda are planned to be adopted at the beginning of 2023.

Sufficient grid capacity and flexibility are some of the other essential factors to boost rooftop solar prosumers’ potential. Low voltage grid is one of the limitations that can hinder more solar deployment, such issue has been identified and will be tackled to contribute more flexibility for potential prosumers. Other grid bottlenecks will be progressively addressed and improved with an annual investment of 59 billion euros by 2030.

Data and material reference: 《EU Market Outlook for Solar Power 2021-2015》