Solar power sets the scene for success in Europe

We look at how EU member states are embracing solar to fulfil their renewable energy pledges.

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The shift to renewable energy sources continues to gather pace as green technologies mature and become more efficient. With businesses and the wider population increasingly wanting to minimise their carbon footprints and operate as sustainably as possible, 2021 saw a huge rise in demand for renewable power.

Emerging from inside an increasingly competitive energy market, solar power has started to assert itself as a key player in the European renewables market, and many of the EU’s member countries have seen their solar projects begin to bear fruit. 

A changing European market?

Philippe Vié, Energy and Utilities Senior Advisor at Capgemini, discusses the EU’s shift towards more sustainable energy sources and its green initiative, “Fit for 55”. Vié says that if the plan is passed it will “require the share of renewable energy [in the EU] to double by 2030 and reach 40% of the European electricity generation mix”. He suggests that solar power will become one of the dominant avenues for this transition “because it generally faces less public opposition to onshore wind”. If successful with its plan, the EU aims to be the first climate-neutral union by 2050 and provide other regions with an effective blueprint that they can apply to their own energy transformation initiatives.

However, renewable energy and solar power are not quite able to take centre stage just yet. Oil, gas, and other greenhouse gas emitters will remain a significant part of the European energy mix until at least the end of the decade. The transition away from these traditional energy providers is proving incredibly complex and expensive, especially whilst renewable infrastructure is built and added to the energy grid. While the benefits of greener policies are likely to easily outweigh the costs of this transition over time, in the short-term heavy investment in renewable infrastructure is placing extra pressure on vulnerable households, transportation users, and smaller businesses.

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