The annual 50 gigawatts annual solar capacity increase in the EU, which was predicted to be reached in 2025, is expected to take place this year and the total capacity is expected to exceed 900 gigawatts by 2030.
With the effect of the energy crisis, which escalated with the effect of the Russia-Ukraine War, the projections for solar energy growth in Europe increased by 37 percent. With the shortening of the permit processes required for solar installations, a larger leap in said capacity is expected.
Solar installations set a record 41.4 gigawatts in the European Union (EU) in 2022, with total solar capacity in the EU exceeding 200 gigawatts, according to data from London-based energy think tank Ember. While the EU’s incentives to clean energy sources to reduce energy dependence on Russia were effective in the record increase, rooftop solar power plants became the driving force of growth.
According to Solar Power Europe data, while the EU’s solar power capacity was projected to be 328 gigawatts in 2025 before the war, post-war planning and forecasts show that this figure will reach 400 gigawatts.
It is calculated that the solar energy capacity in the EU, which is predicted to reach 672 gigawatts in 2030, will reach 920 gigawatts, an increase of 37 percent compared to the pre-war projections.
Shortening Permit Processes
As in many parts of the world, one of the biggest obstacles to the faster growth of solar power capacity in the EU is seen as permit processes.
Although it is tried to limit these processes to 2 years legally in the EU, in practice, in some countries, permit processes up to 4 years can be seen in solar energy.
According to analysts, shortening permits is critical to accelerating the clean energy transition, climate commitments and ending reliance on Russia.
“120 gigawatts of solar capacity waiting in EU due to permit processes”
International Energy Agency (IEA) Senior Analyst Heymi Bahar said that the EU is aiming for complete digitalization to speed up the permit processes and some countries have started to try this application.
Noting that the digitization of transactions may have a shortening effect on the permit processes, Bahar said, “At the moment, 120 gigawatts of solar energy capacity in the EU has been waiting for a long time due to the permit processes. This capacity is very large for Europe and an important part of it is realizable.”
Bahar stated that in rooftop solar installations, the processes were greatly simplified and the installations accelerated after the Russia-Ukraine war.