EU PV development prospects continue to improve in the next 5 years

The European Solar Industry Association (SolarPower Europe) recently released the "2019-2023 EU Solar Solar Market Outlook" report, which analyzes the current situation of the EU solar market and the development trend of the next five years. The key points are as follows: EU solar market in 2019 The growth is strong, with a new installed solar capacity of 16.7 GW, a significant increase of 104% compared to 2018 (8.2 GW), the strongest growth since 2010.

Although the EU solar market also saw an annual increase of 104% during the first solar installation boom in 2010, the new installed capacity was lower than this year's level at 13.4 GW.

The main reasons for the strong growth in 2019 include: first, the cost of solar energy continues to decline, and the economic competitiveness is increasingly prominent. Today, in some markets, the cost of solar power generation is already lower than the cost of traditional fossil energy generation; and as the cost decline curve, it will continue to decline at a much faster rate than any other technology, and the economic competitiveness of solar power generation will continue improve.

Another main reason is that this year is the deadline for EU member states to complete their 2020 renewable energy targets. The EU countries have begun to prepare to achieve the 32% renewable energy target by 2030 as set out in the clean energy package. Furthermore, the people of the European Union have a high degree of recognition for the development of solar energy. Since solar energy is the most popular source of electricity generation among EU citizens, it is also the most flexible, easy to install, and the lowest cost means to expand the share of renewable energy. Many places use solar energy in their climate strategies.

Thanks to the increase in new installed capacity in 2019, the cumulative installed solar capacity of the EU reached 131.9 GW by the end of 2019, a 14% increase from last year (115.2 GW).

Overall, in 2019, the photovoltaic markets of the European Union countries have achieved varying degrees of growth, and 26 of the 28 member countries have more new installed solar  capacity than last year. Among them, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Poland are the top 5 countries with new installed capacity. Ranked first is Spain, with the most new installed capacity of 4.7 GW, which is the culmination of the country’s return to the new solar installed capacity market in continental Europe after 11 years. Germany followed closely with a new installed capacity of 4 GW, ranking second. The Netherlands (2.5 GW), France (1.1 GW) and Poland (784 MW) ranked 3 to 5 respectively.

The sum of the newly installed capacity of the above five countries accounts for more than three quarters of the total newly installed capacity of the EU. When looking at the top 10 markets (the sum of new installations reaches 15.6 GW), the proportion will further increase to 93%, which is more than double the total new installations (7.5 GW) in ten countries in the same period of 2018; and The total installed capacity of the other 18 member states is relatively small.

The report uses scenario simulation (high growth scenario, middle scenario and low growth scenario) to forecast the development of the EU solar market in the next five years: it is expected that the new installed capacity of the EU solar market in 2020 will be no less than 11.4 GW, and is expected to exceed 20 GW. The cumulative installed capacity will reach 141.3-164.8 GW (different scenarios have different prediction results); by 2023, the annual new installed capacity is expected to exceed 26 GW, and the cumulative installed capacity will reach 180.1-276.8 GW.

Regardless of the simulation scenario, it is expected that the EU photovoltaic market will continue to flourish by 2023. In terms of specific countries, the ranking of new installed capacity (compared to the 2019 level) will not change much by 2023. The top five countries are expected to be Germany (12-34 GW) and Spain (13.2 -26.6GW), the Netherlands (12.1-23.9GW), France (9.6-19.1GW) and Italy (5.4-15.5GW), then the combined installed capacity of the above five countries is expected to reach 52.4-119.2 GW.


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