The new European Union solar strategy aims for 600 GW of photovoltaics until 2030

Presented as part of the REPowerEU plan, the strategy provides an overview of Europe’s opportunities to increase the deployment of solar energy. Solar roofs, skilled workers and new eco-design standards.

Double the installed photovoltaic capacity.

It is time to accelerate the development of European photovoltaics.

For the sector to contribute generously to the 2030 renewable energy targets and to the energy security of the Union, the bloc will have to succeed in installing around 45 GW of solar power every year for the next eight years.

To go further, the European Commission presented its new solar strategy (Solar Strategy EU). The strategy, which is part of the wider REPowerEU plan, provides an overview of EU opportunities to increase solar deployment. With the objective of quadrupling the capacity currently installed in the Union by 2030.

We already have ambitious strategies for renewable energy in the sea and hydrogen, photovoltaic energy was until now the missing piece. Today, we are filling that void.

With the current strategy, we expect to double the installed capacity in 2025 and reach 600 GW in 2030.

Solar energy is particularly well suited to the energy challenges we are currently facing. The technology can be deployed quickly and is cost-effective: costs have fallen by 82% over the past decade.

Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy.

EU Solar Strategy

The photovoltaic strategy presents three specific initiatives: a plan dedicated to solar roofs and anchored in a legally binding obligation for the block; a large-scale European skills association to develop a skilled workforce in the sector; and a legislative proposal to shorten and simplify authorization procedures.

In addition, a new alliance has also been created, based on the model of the one created for batteries, but aimed at supporting the European production of photovoltaic modules.

We want more solar panels to be produced in the EU and to facilitate this we will launch the European Solar Photovoltaic Industry Alliance.

Kadri Simson

Solar roofs.

According to some estimates, photovoltaic roofs could provide around 680 TWh per year. Nearly 25% of EU electricity consumption.

To unlock this potential, the Commission’s initiative proposes a number of key measures for these installations. Starting with the reduction of the authorization period: a maximum waiting period of 3 months also applies to large solar roofs. The initiative also requires buildings to be “solar-ready”. How? Make the installation of photovoltaic modules on roofs compulsory. The obligation would apply to all new public and commercial buildings with a usable area of ​​more than 250 m2 by 2026; to all existing public and commercial buildings with a floor area greater than 250 m2 by 2027; and to all new residential buildings by 2029.

Of course you ask Member States to remove any administrative obstacles, especially when repowering already installed systems. And set up at least one renewable energy community in every municipality with more than 10,000 inhabitants by 2025. Ensure that precarious and vulnerable consumers have access to solar energy, for example by installing solar roofs on social housing or specific financing.

Photovoltaic industry.

The European Union currently imports most of the solar products it installs: 8 billion photovoltaic panels in 2020, 75% of which will come from a single country.

To strengthen its national economy, the executive will launch the Solar Photovoltaic Industry Alliance. The Alliance will bring together industry players, research institutes, consumer associations and other stakeholders to identify and coordinate investment opportunities, ongoing projects and technology portfolios.

The Commission also announced a new legislative initiative to ban the marketing in the EU of products produced by forced labour. And it plans to propose in the first half of 2023 two mandatory internal market instruments that will apply to solar modules, inverters and systems sold in the EU, with the aim of increasing their efficiency, durability, repairability and recyclability. There is a regulation on ecological design and another on energy labelling.

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