All across Europe, an all-time record-high generation of solar energy this past summer prevented the importation of $29 billion worth of fossil gas, thus helping countries curb their alarming gas consumption.
“As Europe is rocked by the gas crisis, solar energy brings some much-needed relief,” states Paweł Czyżak, Senior Energy & Climate Data Analyst at Ember. “Investments in solar capacity have paid off.”
From May to August 2022, the European Union (EU) generated a record 12.2% (99.4 TWh, or Terrawatt-hour) of electricity from solar power. During the same period last year, that proportion was 9% (77.7 TWh). Solar surpassed the share of wind (11.7%) and hydro (11%) in the power mix. A whopping eighteen countries out of the 27 member states have achieved records in solar generation, starting with Poland whose production increased 26-fold since 2018, five-fold for Hungry and Finland, and four-fold for the Netherlands and Lithuania. In addition, two new countries have reached the 10% solar mark: Belgium and Denmark. The EU adopted the 45% renewable energy target for the continent to reach at least 600 GW of solar capacity by 2030.