From pv magazine Germany
In June and July of this year, photovoltaics in the European Union delivered a total of 39 TWh of electricity, according to the British climate protection thinktank Ember – which operated under the name Sandbag until 2020. This production corresponds to about 10% of the region's total electricity demand. Germany and the Netherlands were able to reach 17% and Spain 16%.
Hungary has quadrupled its photovoltaic share since June-July 2018 and this summer produced more solar than coal electricity for the first time – 12% versus 10%. In the Netherlands, Italy, France, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Greece and Portugal, more electricity was generated from the sun than from coal this summer.
The Netherlands and Spain have doubled their photovoltaic share since 2018. In Estonia and Poland, three years ago, photovoltaics contributed almost nothing to the electricity mix; this year it was 10% and 5%, respectively.
Coal-fired power plants across the EU, meanwhile, delivered 58 TWh of electricity in June and July, still significantly more electricity than PV. The share of coal in the electricity mix was 14%. According to Ember, the growth of photovoltaics must be doubled in order to achieve the EU climate targets for 2030. This also makes economic sense, according to the thinktank, which said the prime costs of new solar parks are only half as high as those of existing coal-fired power plants in large markets such as Germany. Ember puts the solar figure, for 2020, at the equivalent of €48/MWh.
“Europe has a record solar summer behind it, but it is still a long way from exhausting its potential,” said Charles Moore, from Ember. “However, there is still a long way to go before photovoltaics can deliver more electricity than fossil fuels – even if the sun is high in Europe in summer.”
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