2022 marks another record year for the expansion of photovoltaics in Europe. Fueled by geopolitical conflicts and the resulting increase in energy prices, the transformation of European energy systems – and especially the accelerated deployment of solar energy – is in full swing.
PV market to grow 47 percent in 2022
The annual EU Market Outlook published by the European solar association SolarPower Europe in December 2022 showed that the industry has every reason to be satisfied with the past year and to start the new year with optimism. With an annual growth of 41.4 GW (gigawatts) of newly installed capacity in 2022, the growth of the European market was 47% above the previous year (2021: 28.1 GW). The total installed PV-capacity in Europe amounted to 208.9 GW in 2022, compared with 167.5 GW in 2021.
Top 3 PV markets: Germany, Spain, Poland
While Germany is leading in terms of newly installed capacity (7.9 GW), defending its top position as the largest market within Europe (total capacity: 68.5 GW), especially Spain has made a lot of progress (7.5 GW) in 2022 – a record year for solar power. With a total generation capacity of 26.4 GW, Spain has moved up to second place, which had previously been held by Italy. The Polish market also picked up speed in 2022: With 4.9 GW of installed capacity the country has installed 29% more PV than in 2021.
Top 10 European PV markets
The European solar market league table for 2022 sees the Netherlands (4 GW) in fourth place, followed by France (2.7 GW), Italy (2.6 GW), Portugal (2.5 GW), Denmark (1.5 GW), Greece (1.4 GW) and Sweden (1.1 GW).
Prospects of strong growth for PV in Europe
SolarPower Europe is optimistic about the prospects for the coming years: For 2023, the solar association is forecasting a minimum growth of 50 GW – a more optimistic scenario predicts up to 68 GW – while the annual market growth could reach between 85 GW and 120 GW by 2026. Even though Germany and Spain alone are expected to add 62.6 GW and 51.2 GW respectively within the next four years, the concentration of volume on the top five markets (78% market volume in 2020) has decreased considerably (65% in 2022).
Solar association develops recommendations for action in market study
In the European market survey, SolarPower Europe names the biggest challenges for the European solar industry in the year ahead: A shortage of skilled workers, unstable regulatory framework conditions, issues with the transmission system, cumbersome planning and approval procedures, as well as a shortage of production capacities in Europe. The report also includes recommended actions. And while the prices for modules are beginning to go down a little, the industry continues to encounter bottlenecks in the procurement of polysilicon and inverters in particular.
This year Intersolar Europe once again cooperates with SolarPower Europe in order to bring together industry leaders, decision makers and innovators at the largest exhibition for solar energy in Europe with the common goal of making a positive impact.
Here you can download the complete EU Market Outlook market survey conducted by SolarPower Europe.