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Other European Countries Target 2020 Goal

Europe as a whole is seeking to raise its total renewable energy capacity to 20% by 2020, with solar power likely to take the lead, especially in southern countries with strong sunlight.

The European solar power base is now a massive 100 GW and growing, with some $49 billion spent on renewable energy region wide during 2015. Much of this is thanks to the European Renewable Energy Directive, which has set a requirement for the EU to achieve a level of 20% renewable by 2020 and 27% by 2030. Apart from Germany, the countries in Europe with the largest installed solar bases are Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Greece and Belgium.

Overall, solar currently comprises only about 4% of the total energy production in Europe. However, the total growth of solar in Europe was about 15% last year, so that figure should change soon, according to Solar Power Europe.

France sets national solar goal

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France is also expanding its solar base rapidly. The government plans to increase the country’s 5 GW base with tenders for 800 MW this year. The goal is to have renewable power — primarily solar — contribute 32% to national energy production by 2040. The government is also considering subsequent tenders that could increase to 1,450 MW in 2017, as well as in the following two years. Overall, the goal is a total installed solar capacity of up to 43 GW by 2023.

Italy leads in global solar energy consumption

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Italy also is forging ahead with solar investment, now coming from some surprising sources: oil giant ENI plans to develop 70 MW of solar-dominated renewable over the short term, with another 150 MW to follow by 2022. Italy, which has 8% of its total energy needs supplied by solar, added about 400 MW of solar power last year, slowed by European tariff policy, but the outlook is for faster growth. As such, Italy leads the world in solar energy use as a percentage of its total energy production, according to the International Energy Agency. Greece follows at 7.4% and Germany at 7.1%, the IEA reports.

UK solar gains ground

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Another fast-growing European solar market is the United Kingdom. The UK generated more electricity from solar than from coal plants in May 2016, turning a critical corner in its efforts to adopt more renewable energy sources. As such, the UK now has Europe’s third largest solar power base, with 8.4 GW installed last year.

Article from Solar Journal English vol.03 2016 issue


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「Solar Journal English」

vol.06 / ¥0
April 2019