Ember reports a 10 percent jump in the share of solar energy in total EU production
The share of solar electricity in the total volume of electricity produced by European Union countries in June-July reached 10%, which is a historic high. This was stated by the Ember Center for Energy Analysis.
A new analysis by the Ember Center for Energy Analysis shows that for the first time, solar panels generate one tenth of the electricity in the 27 countries of the European Union during the peak months of June and July this year.
In addition, records have been set in eight EU countries, including Spain and Germany. However, solar power still produces less electricity than coal-fired power plants in Europe, even in the heat of summer. The analysis shows that the share of production from solar power plants must be doubled in order to achieve the European Union’s 2030 emission reduction targets.
According to Ember’s analysis, the production of energy from the sun in June and July increases every year. Solar capacity this year in these two months has reached a record production of 10% of electricity in the European Union (39 TWh) compared to 28 TWh for the same period in 2018.
The growth is accelerating by practically 5.1 TWh for the months of June and July 2021 and the change in the direction of increase is well above that reported in 2020 by 3.1 TWh and in 2019 – 2.6 TWh.
There are eight countries with a new record: Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
There are seven countries in which the production of solar power in June-July 2021 accounted for more than one tenth of the total – the Netherlands (17%), Germany (17%), Spain (16%), Greece (13%) and Italy (13%).
Hungary has increased the share of solar energy four times since June-July 2018, while the Netherlands and Spain have doubled their share.
Estonia and Poland have reached 10% and 5% share of solar electricity, respectively, from almost zero in 2018.
For the first time in the summer of 2021, the production of solar power plants is ahead of that of the coal capacity in Hungary. In the previous year, this trend was already observed in Greece and Portugal, and a few years ago in the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Austria and Belgium, analysts from Ember note. Energy due to coal capacity fell from 17% in June-July 2018 to only 10% this summer.
The European Union has added an average of 14 TWh each year over the last two years. However, according to the European Commission, annual growth over the next decade should double to 30 TWh to meet the 2030 climate targets.
“The summer in Europe was a record for solar energy, but it has still realized its potential. The value of solar energy has declined over the last decade, and we are seeing signs of a European ‘solar revolution’. However, there is a long way to go before more energy can be produced from the sun instead of fossil fuels, even in the heat of summer in Europe, ”said Ember analyst Charles Moore.
According to him, extreme weather conditions across Europe this summer have been a kind of signal to governments that “they need to wake up and turn climate goals into climate action” by stepping up solar capacity building.