- In Q3/2016, Europe installed new solar PV capacity of 1.56 GW, 10% down from 1.73 GW added in Q3/2015
- Installations for the first 9 months of the year show a 18% YoY decline to 5.3 GW of PV systems installed in Europe, from 6.5 GW in the same period in 2015
- Slowing down of demand in the UK owing to reduced feed-in-tariff for residential and commercial installations and slashing support for large scale solar power plants was blamed for the market decline in the period
- Europe added new installed capacity of 8.6 GW in 2015, but the continent may just end 2016 with 7.1 GW
Europe added 10% less of new solar power in Q3/2016 as compared to 1.73 GW in Q3/2015. The installed capacity in the reporting period was only 1.56 GW, as per the estimates of SolarPower Europe.
Figures for first nine months of the year consequently show a decline of 18% YoY with 5.3 GW of PV systems installed in Europe, as compared to 6.5 GW the year before.
Slowing down of demand in the UK owing to reduced feed-in-tariff for residential and commercial PV, and slashing support for large scale solar power plants was blamed for the market decline in the period. In 2015, the country had installed 4.1 GW, but in the first nine months of 2016, the new addition was only 1.5 GW. Most of it was installed in Q1/2016 ahead of the end of the large-scale solar support.
In 2015, Europe added 8.6 GW of new PV capacity. In its Global Market Outlook 2016-2020, published in June, SolarPower Europe had forecasted 7.3 GW of new PV for 2016. Based on the 9-months numbers and simply extrapolating the data based on last year’s growth pattern, the European Continent is estimated to add 7.1 GW of new PV capacity in 2016.
Michael Schmela, Executive Advisor and Head of Market Intelligence at SolarPower Europe, said, “While Europe has recently done little to profit from cheap solar energy, the US market celebrates its best solar quarter ever, installing 4.1 GW in Q3 alone, and anticipating a 14.1 GW size for the full year, up 88% from 2015. China might even install around 30 GW of new solar power capacity in 2016, which would be more than what Europe installed in the last 3 years put together.”
James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe said, “It is of utmost importance for the European solar sector that the legislative proposals supporting active power consumers and self-consumption in the European Commission’s ‘Clean Energy For All Europeans’ package are maintained.”
He added, “We need improvements on several other topics: First, the proposed 27% renewables target is too low. SolarPower Europe calls for a 35% target, which would better suit the ambitions of COP21. Second, we need to keep priority dispatch and access for renewables in a generation scheme still dominated by inflexible power sources. Finally, the proposed approach to capacity mechanisms needs to be improved if we are to eliminate power generation overcapacities in Europe.”