EU Focus On Renewables Could Add 69 GW in 2023

EU Focus On Renewables Could Add 69 GW in 2023

The EU’s renewed focus on renewable energy is no secret, especially after the Russian-Ukraine war that started last year. New reports indicate that the continent could see additions of as many as 69 GW in renewable capacity, mostly solar, in 2023.

That, combined with a high focus on bringing manufacturing back to the region, indicates the long and sustained growth that can be expected in the region regarding renewable energy capacity. This push has also opened up a thriving export market for manufacturers outside the EU, notably in China, besides Indian manufacturers too.

The 69 GW capacity increase in 2023 will be a 17% increase over the 56 GW capacity added in 2022, said the report by REPowerEU. The news comes even as solar hotspots like Spain are on target to generate over 50% of electricity from renewables in 2023.

Spain installed around 5.9 GW of renewable capacity in 2022, bringing the total to 67.9 GW in 2022. Spain is also expected to put in a strong showing in 2023, with over 5 GW of solar additions expected during the year.

Based on statistics from Eurostat and Solar Power Europe, solar is leading the charge, with an overall capacity set to reach 55 GW. Going into other key member nations, Germany installed about 9.8GW of renewable energy capacity in 2022, taking its total to 148GW, up 10 GW from 138GW in 2021.

The Netherlands also saw a significant increase in its renewables additions as it installed 9.24GW of renewable capacity in 2022, bringing the total to 32.83GW. Of the newly installed capacity, 8GW was solar, up from 4GW in 2021.

Newer markets like Poland, which is heavily coal-driven, have also turned around, as it installed about 4.7GW of renewable energy capacity in 2022, bringing the total to 21.2GW. Of the installed capacity, 3.7GW was solar capacity, up from 3.4GW in 2021.

The high focus on solar has driven the EU to try and revive solar manufacturing. At last count, almost 6 GW of capacity additions or creation were underway in regions as disparate as Italy, Romania and more.

Various estimates place worldwide solar capacity projections for 2023 at between 230 GW and 260 GW, after crossing the one terawatt threshold in 2022. China, followed by the US, India, and EU, is expected to lead the push, with more and more countries and regions moving into the Gigawatt plus range in terms of capacity additions.

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