Rystad Predicts Growth in Europe’s Solar Power Generation in 2024

Solar photovoltaic (PV) energy will expand for the first time more than any other source of power generation by spiking by about 50 terawatt-hours (TWh) in 2024, according to consultancy Rystad Energy on Monday.

Rystad Energy predicts continued strong additions from renewables in 2024, with solar leading growth for the first time both in terms of capacity and generation.

Major capacity installations are expected to propel this increase throughout Europe, with Germany leading the way, Rystad Energy said in a statement.

“During 2023, Germany witnessed a record-breaking growth of over 14 gigawatts of direct current (GWdc), majorly driven by the installation of rooftop PV systems. About 6.5 GWDC of rooftop solar has been installed in Germany for residential use, powering approximately 1.3 million households annually,” the statement read.

A crucial role was played in the growth of solar PV in Germany and Europe with the installation of an additional 3.5 GWdc in the commercial and industry sectors, with over 70% of the added capacity from rooftop installations.

Last year, Germany shifted from being a major electricity exporter to a net importer due to a continued decline in conventional coal generation from the closure of several nuclear plants, low solar energy generation and cheaper electricity available from other markets.

With Germany’s reliance on French and Danish imports, the report noted the crucial need to diversify energy sources to enhance energy security and reduce reliance on imports.

The consulting firm also predicts an increase in wind power generation this year. However, it said: 'The growth rate will not match the last one seen in 2023, when wind energy output increased by 50 TWh thanks to additional capacity installations and a windier year, particularly in the last quarter.'

Furthermore, with more stable output from nuclear generation, Rystad said it projects this will drive a further decline in fossil fuel demand for power.

According to Vegard Wiik Vollset, head of renewables and power at the independent research institution, Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) Research, “as the demand for power in Europe is only growing slightly, we can conclude that Europe is fulfilling its electricity demand growth entirely with renewable sources.”

“This indicates that the growth of renewable energy is more than sufficient to cover the growth in demand, which is why we are observing a decline in the use of fossil fuels,” Vollset added.

(Anadolu Agency, February 7, 2024)

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