This summer, wind and solar energy production in Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, and Britain reached a remarkable average of 45 GW, setting a new record.
A recent BloombergNEF study reveals that the combined output from these sources was 20% higher compared to previous summer records. These outputs align with predictions of significant growth in the solar and wind industries across Europe in the next decade.
Energy Monitor’s parent company, GlobalData, forecasts continuous growth in all the countries mentioned, with consecutive records being broken each year.
The European Union has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030. Similarly, the UK has pledged to cut emissions by 68% compared to 1990 levels by the same timeframe.
Notably, Energy Monitor reports that Europe is on the verge of generating close to 50% of its power from renewable sources. Experts predict that renewables will contribute to over 60% of the energy mix by 2030.
Barbara Monterrubio, energy managing analyst at GlobalData, highlights the advantages of wind energy in Northern European countries. These nations benefit from the high wind speeds in areas near the North Sea. Conversely, Southern European countries like Spain, Portugal, and France have excelled in solar technologies due to their sunny climates.
In 2022, Europe accounted for approximately 21.8% of global wind installations and 19.1% of solar PV installations. This has led to a substantial increase in employment opportunities within the renewable energy sector. For instance, there were four times more renewable energy job postings in the UK in July 2023 compared to just two years before.
While the growth of wind and solar energy is promising, Francesca Gregory, energy transition analyst at GlobalData, warns that Europe faces ongoing challenges.
The reliance on favorable weather conditions has significantly contributed to the success of solar and wind energy generation. For instance, the abundance of solar radiation during heatwaves across Europe this summer has boosted solar power generation. However, abundant summer sunshine cannot always be depended upon. The intermittent nature of renewable energy sources remains a significant challenge that needs to be addressed.
According to Pavan Vyakaranam, a power analyst at GlobalData, increasing the adoption of solar and wind technologies can be complicated. Bottlenecks in permitting procedures and supply chains, as well as limited grid availability, can impede the growth of wind and solar production.