In the midst of #MillionSolarStrong celebration in the U.S., Europe reaches its own important solar milestone. According to the analysis by IHS, Europe has recently surpassed 100 GW of PV installations. To celebrate this achievement, SolarPower Europe will hold an event on 29 September in Brussels.
"Just a few years ago solar was considered to be a niche alternative technology, but it is now a major element of our energy system, said president of SolarPower Europe Oliver Schäfer. In fact solar power is one of the most competitive forms of energy generation in Europe today."
The cumulative capacity of solar installations in Europe has increased more than 30 times in the last 10 years, from less than 3 GW in 2005 to 100 GW in the second quarter of 2016. According to HIS, the main two factors behind the growth of PV capacity in the region are the 80% costs reduction and the supportive regulatory frameworks set up in the countries that are aiming to meet the requirements of the European Unions Renewable Energy Directive.
Europe was once the cradle of solar energy, noted SolarPower Europe CEO James Watson. "In the current post-feed-in tariff climate we must make sure we have the right electricity market design and the right long-term investments signals for solar to flourish. We hope that the European Commission’s forthcoming market design reform and Renewable Energy Directive will pave the way for the 200 GW benchmark."