EU solar market grows 36% in 2018

The European Union installed around 8 GW of solar power systems in 2018; that is a 36% year-on-year increase over the 5.9 GW connected to the grid in EU-28 in 2017, according to an estimate from SolarPower Europe. Solar installations in Europe as a whole grew by around 20% to 11 GW in 2018, up from 9.2 GW the year before.

Europe’s largest solar market in 2018 was Germany with 2.96 GW of new grid-connected capacity, up 68% from the 1.76 GW installed in 2017. It was followed by Turkey, the reigning European solar market from the previous year, which installed 1.64 GW in 2018, down 37% from the year before, after a decline in demand due to the financial downturn in the country.

A rising solar star, the Netherlands ranked as the 3rd largest solar market in 2018. The country added around 1.4 GW compared to 0.77 GW in 2017 and is now entering the ‘solar gigawatt-club’ for the first time.

While the EU-28’s 36% solar market growth in 2018 is very impressive, the number could have been even higher. But a sudden demand pull from China at the end of last year led to a supply shortage for high-quality panels in Europe, forcing several developers to delay the completion of projects into 2019. However, the good news is that 2019 will be an even better year for solar in Europe.

This solar installation data for EU-28 and Europe is an estimate from SolarPower Europe for 2018 solar power on-grid installations and are based on official data from government agencies whenever possible. As data for Q4/2018 is often not yet completely available or will be updated by national entities responsible for solar statistics in the coming months, the final installation numbers might differ from this estimate.

The 2018 global solar market numbers with details on individual countries will be published during the SolarPower Summit on 6-7 March 2019 in Brussels. A 5-year solar demand forecast will be published in SolarPower Europe’s ‘Global Market Outlook for Solar Power 2019 – 2023’, which will be launched at the Intersolar Europe trade fair in Munich in May 2019.

Source: SolarPower Europe