Members' Research Service By / August 31, 2022

Solar energy in the EU

As the European Union (EU) struggles with the dual challenges of energy security concerns and high energy prices in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, domestic energy production and efficiency gains are becoming increasingly important.

© Ivan Kmit/ Adobe Stock

Written by Agnieszka Widuto.

The EU solar energy strategy proposed under the REPowerEU plan aims to make solar energy a cornerstone of the EU energy system. Boosting renewable energy is also an important part of the European Green Deal in the context of the green transition towards climate neutrality. Solar energy is affordable, clean and has been the fastest-growing energy source in the last decade. It can be used for electricity and heating, while also helping reduce EU dependency on energy imports by replacing them with domestic production.

EU measures to boost solar energy include making the installation of solar panels on the rooftops of new buildings obligatory within a specific timeframe, streamlining permitting procedures for renewable energy projects, improving the skills base in the solar sector and boosting the EU’s capacity to manufacture photovoltaic panels.

Several challenges still need addressing, however. These include competition for land use with other sectors, technological issues, skills shortages and the need to prevent a new energy dependency on non-EU solar panel producers.

The ambitious plan includes doubling the current level of solar photovoltaic capacity by 2025 and producing almost 600 GW by 2030. Achieving these goals will depend on continued commitment to renewable energy deployment, success in addressing a number of challenges, and the ability to unlock the full potential of solar energy in the EU, for instance, by boosting domestic solar production and the use of new technologies.


Read the complete briefing on ‘Solar energy in the EU‘ in the Think Tank pages of the European Parliament.


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