Tuesday 27th September 2016                 Change text size:

2013 record year for solar PV but sector still ‘policy-driven’



solar by Dirk Kratzenberg via freeimages

The European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA) has revealed that the solar photovoltaic (PV) sector flourished in 2013, with at least 38.4 gigawatts (GW) of new PV systems installed across Europe.

A new report by the EPIA shows that Asia predominantly led the growth, with China and Japan first and second respectively in the sector. In Europe, Germany was the best performer with 3.3GW. The UK installed 1.5GW in 2013 and EIPA expected the phenomenon to keep growing.

Oliver Schäfer, EPIA president, said, “The forecast for Europe in the next years should, however, be put into perspective and be considered as a stabilisation towards a solid level, around 10GW a year.

“Europe’s situation at the end of last year shows that PV, as any other energy business, remains policy-driven. A series of retrospective measures were implemented in the last years in various European countries, leading to the sharp market decrease observed in 2013. Sustainable, predictable and dynamic framework conditions and policies are needed in Europe and globally to provide enough visibility to investors.

The report estimated that PV now accounts for around 3% of electricity demand in Europe and is becoming a mainstream energy provider in Europe.

“PV is becoming a major part of the electricity system all over the globe, changing the way our world is powered. Policymakers and energy stakeholders should now understand that electricity grids and markets need to be adapted to fit these new realities and facilitate a cost-efficient energy transition”, Schäfer added.

In April, it emerged that America’s solar energy capacity had increased by 418% in the last four years alone, while China recently announced it has plans to triple its solar power output by 2017, as an effort to tackle pollution.

Photo: Dirk Kratzenberg via Freeimages

Further reading:

The power is in your hands: the benefits of solar energy

US solar energy capacity up 418% in four years

Solar panels now on nearly 500,000 rooftops across UK

Chinese solar firms offer tax rebates to get industry back on track

£10m ‘Greener Bond’ unveiled to finance solar and low energy boilers


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