Wind and solar output has reportedly hit a record average of 45GW this summer across Germany, Belgium, France, Italy and Britain.
Output from the two sources since the beginning of June was 20% higher than previous summer records, according to a new study, and fits with predictions for major growth in the solar and wind industries in Europe over the next decade.
Energy Monitor‘s parent company, GlobalData, forecasts that all of the countries mentioned in the study will see continual growth, with records being broken year-on-year.
The progress comes as the European Union strives to reach its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. Meanwhile, the UK has pledged to cut emissions by 68% compared with 1990 levels, by the same year.
According to GlobalData, Europe as a whole is now close to producing 50% of its power from renewable sources, and the successful growth of the industry has led analysts to predict that renewables power will make up a share of over 60% by 2030.
Speaking on the success of wind and solar generation, Barbara Monterrubio, energy managing analyst at GlobalData, explained: “For wind, the northern countries close to the North Sea have an advantageous location as wind speed is high in the area. From a solar perspective, southern countries such as Spain, Portugal or France have been successful in these technologies.”
Europe accounted for 21.8% of the global wind net installations in 2022 and accounted for 19.1% of solar PV installations. These figures have been reflected in employment figures, as the increasing number of active jobs identified by GlobalData in the renewable energy sector signals a successful and rapidly growing field.
However, while the future looks bright, GlobalData energy transition analyst Francesca Gregory cautioned that there are still challenges ahead for Europe: “While increasing renewable capacity is a key facet of European countries’ record solar and wind generation statistics, outputs across these energy sources have been significantly helped by prevailing weather conditions.
“For example, although high levels of solar radiation have created heatwave conditions across vast regions of Europe this summer, this has also caused solar’s contribution to the power mix to rise. Therefore, although the generation statistics are promising, the intermittency challenge is still waiting in the wings.”
GlobalData power analyst Pavan Vyakaranam added that the rapid upscaling of these technologies is not always straightforward: “Permitting bottlenecks is the key factor hindering solar and wind market growth in the region. Supply chain bottlenecks, grid availability will be other major factors restraining the growth.”
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