EU Market Outlook For Solar Power 2022-2026

Only history will tell, but it is likely that Europe will remember 2022 as the year the solar age truly began. Today’s fossil-fuel and nuclear induced energy crisis has put solar in the spotlight like never before. Solar ticks all three boxes of the previously assumed energy trilemma – sustainability, affordability, and security of supply. Less costly, and more versatile, solar is easier to deploy than any other power source. Only solar can empower individual energy self-sufficiency. It’s high time to acknowledge the reality of the energy landscape, and take solar seriously.

Just look at the numbers: our preliminary market analysis for 2022 sees 41.4 GW newly installed solar PV capacity this year, an impressive annual growth of 47% from the 28.1 GW installed in 2021. It’s also over double what was installed just two years ago in 2020. We are confident that further annual market growth will beat all expectations, exceed 50 GW deployment level in 2023, and more than double from today to 85 GW in 2026. While this is the ‘most likely’ forecast, we could see up to 68 GW installed next year, and nearly 120 GW of annual installation in 4 years.

Embedding these growth numbers in our mindset is key – each and every stakeholder in energy politics needs to be aware that imminently, solar will be at the center of the European Union’s energy system. This requires thorough planning. Getting the numbers right in the upcoming 2023 revision of EU Member States’ 2030 National Energy and Climate Plans (NECPs) is crucial. Current NECPs all severely underestimate solar; as our analysis shows, over three quarters of EU countries will have reached their 2030 targets 5 years early, and all of them at least 3 years early. It’s also worth taking a look at the detailed descriptions of the 10 EU markets that have now reached GW-level size – they have installed at least a GW of solar in 2022.

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