IEA Pegs 60 GW Potential New Solar PV In EU In 2023

Accelerate Renewable Energy Deployment In EU To Brace For Possible Gas Deficit In 2023, Recommends IEA; Says Solar PV Deployment Next Year Can Grow To 60 GW & Onshore Wind To 25 GW

IEA Pegs 60 GW Potential New Solar PV In EU In 2023

While SPE’s medium scenario forecasts over 50 GW new solar in 2023 in the EU, the IEA believes faster permitting and strong policy and investment support can mean as much as 60 GW next year. For onshore wind, the IEA forecast is for 25 GW. (Source: IEA)

  • IEA’s new report focuses on the EU managing to survive 2023 without any Russian gas supply
  • For this, it recommends faster deployment of renewables, particularly utility scale solar PV and onshore wind
  • For solar PV, strong policy action and accelerating permitting measures can lead to an annual deployment of around 60 GW in 2023

As the European Union (EU) seems to manage and remain ‘safe’ in 2022 winter with just enough gas, this may change in the winter of 2023/24. However, it can avert the situation by scaling up and speeding up renewables, including deploying as much as 60 GW new solar PV in 2023, as per the International Energy Agency (IEA). This is even higher than SolarPower Europe’s (SPE) 54 GW prediction for next year under its medium scenario (see European Union To Exit 2022 With Over 41 GW Solar Installed).

In its recent report How to Avoid Gas Shortages in the European Union in 2023, the IEA recommends a practical set of actions to close a potential supply demand gap. Gas demand in the EU is set to fall by around 10% to 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) in 2022, with 10 bcm drop attributed to curtailed production.

In 2022, Russia is expected to have sent around 60 bcm to the EU, from 140 bcm in 2021, which can drop to nothing in 2023. The bloc will be looking at a possible deficit of 27 bcm in 2023.

Thanks to high storage levels, the bloc might survive this winter, but things will get tough next year as demand grows but supply is not enough. Hence, it is imperative that the member states get ready to supplement it from this moment on.

Onshore wind and solar PV generation needs to accelerate with easing permitting measures for utility scale projects, leading to 25 GW and 60 GW deployment in 2023, respectively.

“Achieving these faster growth targets will require policy action along three main lines: reducing permitting timelines; increasing investor certainty; and promoting the integration of renewables and distributed resources,” reads the report.

The IEA counts around 80 GW onshore wind and 150 GW utility scale PV projects as being at various permitting stages in the EU. To ensure faster permitting, the European Commission (EC) has voted for temporary emergency measures for renewables, presuming these to override public interest (see European Commission Proposes Faster Permitting For Renewables).

The report recommends the following main action areas to further support faster permitting in the short term:

  • Digitalization of the whole administrative process
  • Identifying priority areas for renewable energy projects
  • Lower hurdles for smaller rooftop projects to provide faster returns, majorly contributing to PV deployment, as Italy did by expanding shorter permitting process ambit to 200 kW projects instead of 50 kW
  • Increase investor confidence by improving auction design to reflect recent upward cost pressures on renewables, as France has done (see France To Speed Up Commissioning Of 6 GW Renewables), and to accelerate the volume of already planned auctions and announce more for H1/2023
  • Monitor impacts of market interventions to avoid unintended effects to shelter citizens from high costs without hurting new renewable energy investments
  • Promote integration of renewables and distributed resources, plan ahead for grid capacity and stepping up incentives are some of the other recommendations

The report can be downloaded for free from the IEA website.

About The Author

Anu Bhambhani

Anu Bhambhani is the Senior News Editor of TaiyangNews. Anu is our solar news whirlwind. At TaiyangNews she covers everything that is of importance in the world of solar power.

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