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Europe Solar 2018. Scenarios and perspectives

30 May 2019

2019 will be an exceptionally good year for solar energy in Europe, according to Solar Power Europe, in its report Global Market Outlook 2019-2023. We examined the three typical scenarios (High, Medium and Low) proposed by this report.


The MEDIUM SCENARIO of our annual European photovoltaic markets 2019-2023 expects a very strong growth for the continent until 2020 (...). For this year -2019, we see that demand increases by 81% to 20.4 GW; by 2020 we expect an 18% growth to 24.1 GW, which would be a new installation record, surpassing the 22.5 GW added in 2021 (...) We estimate that 28.2 GW will be installed in 2022, and in 2023 we will even reach the level of 30 GW.

The main boosters of the most demanded assumptions are:

1. EU-28 countries have until 2020 to meet their binding national renewable energy targets.

2. Another factor is a price decrease faster than expected. The restructuring of the Chinese market has released capabilities and led to unexpected reductions in the prices of cells and modules, which has led to a demand for solar energy worldwide.

3. Public services, companies and big funds in Europe are putting renewable energies in an important place on their agenda, and solar energy, since it is the most economical and versatile source of energy generation, will be their favorite means of the supply and investment of clean energy.

4. There is always the possibility of unforeseen changes in the economic situation or the political leadership of countries and regions that can have a great impact on the economy. For example the sudden financial crisis in Turkey.

5. On the other hand, it is expected that the positive result of the CLEAN ENERGY PACKAGE FOR ALL EUROPEANS will support solar energy in the EU in the next decade, although much will depend on the member states converting that directive into an action at national level in a future, as planned.

If Europe really wants to comply with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and fully embrace the commercial attractiveness of solar energy as one of the sources of lower cost energy generation at present, the demand for photovoltaic energy in the continent in 2023 could reach 48 GW (...) The EU demand would be a little smaller but would still reach 32.7 GW.

Our HIGH SCENARIO is based on a scenario in which there are no import taxes for solar products, there are no prohibitive taxes on self-consumption or storage, or any other barrier that could slow down flexible and distributed solar energy. It also anticipates that interest rates will remain low and there will be no macroeconomic problems in Europe.

The LOW SCENARIO estimates annual additions of only 16.3 GW in Europe or 14.1 GW in the EU in 2023.

In the section on annual addictions, the Solar Power Europe GMO report includes in its high and low scenarios of 2019/2023the 20 most relevant markets worldwide. We will only mention Ukraine and Portugal that are included in this year's list, as well as the Netherlands, which will occupy the sixth place from the eleventh place of the previous GMO. We ignore the references to other countries (global) that we will incorporate in other articles, by limiting ourselves to European countries.


A look at the scenarios of the European total solar photovoltaic market 2019 - 2023 in Europe, shows constant double-digit annual growth rates, with the MEDIUM anticipating an accumulated installed capacity of 255 GW in 2023.

Although the HIGH SCENARIO considers that Europe exceeds the level of 200 GW in 2021 and the level of 300 GW in 2023, reaching 318 GW by the end of 2023, we consider that the case of solar energy is very solid in any case during the next five years.

Even in our LOW SCENARIO, the continent is expected to operate around 200 GW of solar power plants in 2023.

Our annual "weather forecast" (...): optimists in 12 of these countries, (...) only (for) two countries the perspectives of political support are cloudy (United Kingdom and Russia), while we see a rain perspective for only one , Turkey. GMO 2019/2023.

LUSTRO 2019/2023.

It is still considered that Germany will add the largest volume of solar energy in the next five years (...) but the next two countries are no longer France and Turkey, now Spain and the Netherlands took that place (...) the demand will be very strong until 2023: we anticipate that Spain will add 19.5 GW and the Netherlands will connect to the network 15.9 GW.

The MEDIUM SCENARIO of our GMO 2019 anticipates that the 15 fastest growing European markets will install at least 2 GW each in the forecast period of 5 years, with the extended range from Germany, adding the largest volume of 26.7 GW, to 2.1 GW in Switzerland.

In total, we expect European countries to add 129.2 GW (above 92.8 GW) in the forecast period of 5 years, according to our most likely Medium Scenario.

"The European Union, where the solar market suffered for many years, has just completed a legislative energy transition exercise. The Clean Energy Package for All Europeans provides a framework with reliable governance and modern market design that aims to enable all interested parties, from large corporations to  consumers active in home, to invest in renewable energies in the sectors of energy, heating and transport. Now it is up to the Member States to implement these guidelines, mostly for solar benefit. " GMO 2019/2023

The Solar Power Europe GMO 2019/2023 report is commented on the NEW ENERGY UPDATE website dated 15/05/2019. Another prominent report (published on April 26) on the prospects of solar energy in Europe turns out to be that of the consultant Wood MacKensey mentioned in this web  dated May 1, 2019, page from which we extract the following notes:

1. "Annual photovoltaic installations in Europe are expected to increase 69% in 2019 to 16.9 GW and are expected to increase to 20 GW in 2021.

2. In France and Germany, 19 GW of new capacity is expected to be auctioned between 2019 and 2024. France set a solar target of 20 GW by 2023.

3. Italy will also launch joint wind and solar energy auctions pending the regulatory approval of the European Commission (EC). Italy targeted 50 GW by 2030 as solar target.

4. In Spain, developers are building 3.9 GW of projects awarded in 2017 and there are around 10 GW of projects without subsidies in development.

5. It is forecast that the average costs of the system at the utility scale will be $ 0.87 / Wdc in 2019 in all the main European markets.

6. Competitive auctions will continue to boost photovoltaic growth at the scale of public services.

7. By 2024, it is forecast that the costs of the photovoltaic system in Europe will fall by 25%, on average, said Wood Mackenzie. "

Costs of the photovoltaic system at the scale of public services in Europe in 2019

Source: Wood Mackenzie, April 2019.

Determined to predict the future, we end with what we believe would be the longing for the entire solar energy environment reflected in this chart ... by 2050.

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