Solar energy in the European Union

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Map of solar insolation in Europe
European average kWh produced per year for an optimally latitude-tilted fixed photovoltaic kW(peak) array[1]

Solar energy in the European Union is obtained from Solar Photovoltaics (PV) and solar thermal energy.

During 2010, the European solar heating yield was 17.3 TWh, annual turnover 2.6 Billion € and employment 33,500 persons (1 job for 80 kW new capacity). Turnover is concentrated in local small and medium businesses.[2] In Europe, 21.9 GW of photovoltaics systems were connected to the grid in 2011, compared to 13.4 GW in 2010.[3] The annual turnover of the European Photovoltaic market is of approximately €36 billion.[4]

Photovoltaic solar power[edit]

Photovoltaic cells in use on top of a building in Berlin.

In 2012, more than 69 GW were installed at the global level, producing 85 TWh of electricity every year. This energy volume is sufficient to power annually the supply needs of over 20 million households. In terms of global cumulative installed capacity, according to the latest report of the European Photovoltaic Industry Association, in 2012, Europe still leads the way with more than 70 GW (i.e. about 69% of the world’s total solar photovoltaic cumulative capacity).[3] In 2011, solar photovoltaic continued its growth trend and Italy was the top market for the year, with 9.3 GW connected, followed by Germany (7.5 GW). These two markets were followed by France (1.7 GW) and the United Kingdom (784 MW). In terms of cumulative capacity, Germany with more than 24 GW, is the leading country in Europe,[3] followed by Italy, with more than 12 GW. PV is now a significant part of Europe's electricity mix, producing 2% of the demand in the EU and roughly 4% of peak demand.[3]

In 2011 the EU’s solar electricity production is evaluated as ca 44.8 TWh in 2011 with 51.4 GW installed capacity, up 98% on 2010. In 2011 in the EU new installations were 21.5 GW. The solar power share in 2011 was around 3.6% in Italy, 3.1% in Germany and 2.6% in Spain. EuroObserver expects the total installation to reach at least 120 GW in 2020. The national strategies are equivalent to 84 GW solar capacity in 2020 which may underestimate the actual development taking place. For example, according to AGEE-Stat (the Ministry of Environment’s Working Group on Renewable Energy Statistics), Germany connected solar capacity 7.5 GWp in 2011, twice the 3.5 GWp target. EU accounted for 74% of all newly connected capacity in 2011. According to Photon International magazine the worldwide solar cell production capacity was 12.5 GW in 2009 and 37 GW in 2011. In 2012, production capacities are set to rise to 69 GW, same as the total installed capacity worldwide at the end of 2011.[5]

Denmark will reach the year 2020 government goal 200 MW in 2012 eight years in advance. Danish energy sector players estimate that this development will result in 1000 MW by 2020.[6] Croatian as a newest member of the EU has less than enthusiastic embrace of solar power due number of reasons, but in past few years Croatian solar energy has seen dramatic increase in overall output, from 32.4 MWh in 2012 additional 46,2MWh were added in 2013 with another 108MWh [7]awaiting to be connected to the national grid and additional power plants under construction with total energy output exceeding 200MWh. Croatian national renewable energy strategy is to increase participating share of renewable in overall energy mix from current 15.8% (end of 2012) to around 25% by 2020 with solar generating at least 500MWh.

PV in Europe (MWpeak)[8][9][10][11][12][11]
# Country 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
1  Germany 1,910 3,063 3,846 6,019 9,959 17,370 24,875 32,698
2  Italy 46 58 120 458 1,157 3,478 12,764 16,361
3  Spain 58 118 733 3,421 3,438 3,808 4,214 4,516
4  France 26 33 47 104 335 1,054 2,831 4,027
5  Belgium 2 4 22 71 574 787 1,812 2,649
6  Czech Republic 0 1 4 55 463 1,953 1,959 2,022
7  United Kingdom 11 14 19 23 30 75 1,014 1,657
8  Greece 5 7 9 19 55 205 631.3 1,543
9  Bulgaria 0.8 1 6 17 132.7 933
10  Slovakia 0 0 0 0.07 0.2 144 488.2 517
11  Austria 24 29 27 32 53 103 173.8 421
12  Denmark 3 3 3 3 5 7 16.7 391
13  Netherlands 51 51 53 57 68 97 118.0 321
14  Portugal 3 4 18 68 102 131 143.6 228
15  Slovenia 0.2 0.4 1 2 9 36 90.4 217
16  Luxembourg 24 24 24 25 26 27 30.6 47
17  Croatia 0.5 1.2 3.2 5.6 12.1 16.4 24.4 32.6[13]
18  Sweden 4 5 6 8 9 10 18.7 23
19  Malta 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 2 2 11.5 18
20  Cyprus 0.5 1 1 2 3 6 10.1 17
21  Finland 4 4 5 6 8 10 11.2 11
22  Romania 0.2 0.3 0.5 0.6 2 2.9 6.4
23  Lithuania 0 0 0 0.06 0.07 0.1 0.1 6.1
24  Hungary 0.2 0.2 0.4 0.5 0.7 2 4.1 3.7
25  Poland 0.3 0.4 0.6 1 1 2 1.8 3.4
26  Latvia 0 0 0 0.004 0.008 0.008 1.5 1.5
27  Ireland 0.3 0.3 0.4 0.4 0.6 0.6 0.7 0.7
28  Estonia 0 0 0 0.01 0.05 0.08 0.2 0.2
EU27 (GWp) 2.17 3.42 4.94 10.38 15.86 29.33 51.36 68.64
PV per capita [12]
# Country 2011 2012
1  Germany 304.3 399.5
2  Italy 210.5 269.0
3  Belgium 165.5 240.0
4  Czech Republic 186.0 192.5
5  Greece 55.8 136.7
6  Bulgaria 17.7 127.4
7  Slovenia 44.1 105.7
8  Spain 91.3 97.8
9  Slovakia 89.8 95.7
10  Luxembourg 59.9 89.9
11  Denmark 3.0 70.2
12  France 43.5 61.6
13  Austria 20.7 49.9
14  Malta 27.4 45.0
15  United Kingdom 16.2 26.3
16  Portugal 13.5 21.7
17  Cyprus 12.5 19.9
18  Netherlands 7.1 19.1
19  Sweden 2.0 2.5
20  Finland 2.1 2.1
21  Lithuania 0.0 2.0
22  Latvia 0.7 0.7
23  Hungary 0.4 0.4
24  Romania 0.1 0.3
25  Ireland 0.2 0.2
26  Estonia 0.1 0.1
27  Croatia 0.1 0.1
28  Poland 0.0 0.1
EU27 (W/capita) 102.2 136.3


Concentrated solar power[edit]

Solar power, the production of electricity from solar energy, is performed either directly, through photovoltaics, or indirectly, using concentrated solar power (CSP).

One advantage that CSP has is the ability to add thermal storage and provide power up to 24 hours a day.[14] Gemasolar, in Spain, was the first to provide 24 hour power.[15]

CSP in Europe (MWpeak)[16]
# Country 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
1 Spain 10 60 231.4 531.4 1,151.4 2,108.5
2 Italy 0 0 0 5 5 5
3 France 0 0 0 0.5 0.75 0.75
EU27 (MWp) 10 60 231.4 537 1157.25 2114.25


Solar thermal[edit]

Over the next 10 years the European solar thermal will grow on average at a rate of 15% per annum. According to the National Renewable Energy Action Plans the total solar thermal capacity in the EU will be 102 GW in 2020 (while 14 GW in 2006).[2]

In June 2009, the European Parliament and Council adopted the Directive on the promotion of the use of energy from Renewable Energy Sources (RES). For the first time, heating and cooling accounting for half of the final energy demand will be covered by a European directive promoting renewable energies. The overall renewable target is legally binding but renewable mix is free. According to the delivered national plans the highest of solar heating markets during 2010-2020 will be in Italy, Germany, France, Spain and Poland in respect to the national target in 2020 and capacity increase. Top countries per capita will be Cyprus, Greece, Austria, Italy and Belgium.[2]

In some European countries the solar thermal market is still in its infancy. Bulgaria, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, and United Kingdom have extremely low targets in their plans. Estonia, Finland, Latvia, and Romania have not included solar thermal in their national plans at all.[2]

Solar heating is the usage of solar energy to provide space or water heating. Worldwide the use was 88 GWthermal in 2005. Growth potential is enormous. The EU have been second after China in the installations. If all EU countries had used solar thermal as enthusiastically as the Austrians, the EU’s installed capacity would have been 91 GWth (130 million m2, far beyond the target of 100 million m2 by 2010, set by the White Paper in 1997. In 2005 solar heating in the EU was equivalent to more than 686,000 tons of oil. ESTIF’s minimum target is to produce solar heating equivalent to 5,600,000 tons of oil (2020). A more ambitious, but feasible, target is 73 millions tons of oil per year (2020) – a lorry row spanning 1,5 times around the globe.[17]

Solar heating in Europe* (MWthermal)[18][19][20][21][22]
# Country Total
2008
Total
2009
Total
2010
Total
2011
1  Germany 7,766 9,036 9,831 10,496
2  Greece 2,708 2,853 2,855 2,861
3  Austria 2,268 3,031 3,227 2,792
4  Italy 1,124 1,410 1,753 2,152
5  Spain 988 1,306 1,543 1,659
6  France 1,137 1,287 1,470 1,277
7  Netherlands 254 285 313 332
8  Portugal 223 395 526 547
9  Cyprus 485 490 491 499
10  Czech Republic 116 148 216 265
11  Poland 254 357 459 637
12  Denmark 293 339 379 409
13  United Kingdom 270 333 374 460
14  Sweden 202 217 227 236
15  Belgium 188 204 230 226
16  Slovenia 96 111 116 123
17  Ireland 52 85 106 111
18  Romania 66 80 73 74
19  Slovakia 67 73 84 100
20  Hungary 18 59 105 120
21  Bulgaria 22 56 74 81
22  Malta 25 29 32 36
23  Finland 18 20 23 23
24  Luxembourg 16 19 22 25
25  Latvia 1 1.2 1.4 2.6
26  Lithuania 1.2 1.5 1.7 2.9
27  Estonia 1 2 2 3.3
27 EU27 (GW) 19.08 21.60 23.49 25.55
2004–2006
The relation between collector area and rated power: 1m2 = 0.7 kW thermal
Solar heating
per capita 2011[16]
# Country W/
capita
1  Cyprus 609
2  Austria 397
3  Greece 253
4  Germany 130
5  Malta 80
6  Denmark 78
7  Slovenia 65
8  Portugal 58
9  Czech Republic 53
10  Spain 41
11  Luxembourg 37
12  Sweden 35
12  Netherlands 35
14  Italy 34
15  Ireland 27
15  Belgium 27
17  France 25
18  Slovakia 19
19  Poland 17
20  Bulgaria 11
21  Hungary 9
22  United Kingdom 7
23  Finland 5
24  Romania 4
24  Latvia 4
26  Estonia 1
26  Lithuania 1
EU27 (W/capita) 55


Organizations[edit]

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) represents members active along the whole solar PV value chain. EPIA’s mission is to give its global membership a distinct and effective voice in the European market, especially in the EU.[23]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Šúri M., Huld T.A., Dunlop E.D. Ossenbrink H.A., 2007. Potential of solar electricity generation in the European Union member states and candidate countries. Solar Energy, 81, 1295–1305, [1]
  2. ^ a b c d [Solar Thermal Markets in Europe Trends and Market Statistics 2010], European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF) June 2011 p. 14-15, Figure Capacity in operation 2010/2020
  3. ^ a b c d Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics until 2016
  4. ^ Fact Sheets
  5. ^ Photovoltaic barometer 208 February 2012
  6. ^ Denmark reaches 2020-goal for solar energy before time 12.09.2012
  7. ^ http://www.vecernji.hr/kompanije-i-trzista/razgrabljeni-poticaji-za-solarne-elektrane-915586
  8. ^ Photovoltaic energy barometer 2007 – EurObserv’ER Systèmes solaires Le journal des énergies renouvelables n° 178, p. 49-70, 4/2007
  9. ^ Photovoltaic energy barometer 2009 – EurObserv’ER Systèmes solaires Le journal des énergies renouvelables n° 190, p. 72-102, 3/2009
  10. ^ Photovoltaic energy barometer 2010 – EurObserv’ER
  11. ^ a b Photovoltaic energy barometer 2011 – EurObserv’ER
  12. ^ a b Photovoltaic energy barometer 2012 – EurObserv’ER
  13. ^ http://www.vecernji.hr/kompanije-i-trzista/razgrabljeni-poticaji-za-solarne-elektrane-915586
  14. ^ Concentrating Solar Power
  15. ^ Spain's round-the-clock solar power plant
  16. ^ a b EurObserv'ER: Solar thermal and concentrated solar power barometer - May 2012
  17. ^ Solar Thermal Action Plan for Europe ESTIF, 1/2007
  18. ^ Solar thermal market grows strongly in Europe Trends and Market Statistics 2008, ESTIF 5/2009
  19. ^ EurObserv'ER 203 (2011) - Solar thermal and concentrated solar power barometer
  20. ^ solar_thermal_markets.pdf Solar Thermal Markets in Europe
  21. ^ Solar Thermal Markets in Europe Trends and Market Statistics 2010, ESTIF June 2011
  22. ^ Solar Thermal Markets in Europe
  23. ^ Mission & Activities

External links[edit]