SolarPower Europe pushes 45% target, says would add an extra 210GW of solar by 2030

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Some of the recommendations focus on accelerating the roll out of rooftop and commercial and industrial (C&I) solar. Image: SolarPower Europe

SolarPower Europe has called on the EU to increase its renewable energy target to 45% by 2030, which it said would result in an extra 210GW of solar capacity installed and put the continent on a strong trajectory to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

The trade body said the EU’s previous target of 40% renewables by 2030 was “insufficient to set the EU on a cost-effective trajectory to deliver 55% greenhouse gas emission reductions and climate neutrality by 2050” and has put forward seven recommendations to improve the proposed revision of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive (REDIII).

The first of these was the increase in the trade bloc’s 2030 renewables target. SolarPower Europe’s market forecasts showed that under a 45% target, 870GW of solar would be installed in the EU by 2030, compared with 660GW under a 40% target. However, its forecasts tend to be more optimistic that REDIII predictions.

It said that “increasing the EU’s renewable energy ambition is possible and will shield energy consumers from high energy prices, underpin the growth of a domestic solar manufacturing industry and create over one million solar jobs in 2030”.

The Fit for 55 package, and the review of the Renewable Energy Directive in particular, will be crucial to fully unlock the EU’s solar potential,” said SolarPower Europe CEO Walburga Hemetsberger.

The trade body had been calling for the higher target in the run up to the EU increasing its renewable energy goal from 32% to 40% in July of this year, but it said that COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, had yet again underlined the need for more ambitious targets.  

The trade body said increased overall renewables target would increase solar deployment by more than 200GW by 2030. Image: SolarPower Europe

Other recommendations include facilitating rooftop PV deployment, which SolarPower Europe said was being hamstrung by slow permitting regimes and poor implementation strategies, enhancing the framework for mid-sized commercial and industrial (C&I) and rooftop solar to ensure incentives and remove barriers to deployment and boosting corporate procurement of renewables. All three recommendations come under article 15 within REDIII.

“The position paper underlines the need to maximise the potential of rooftop PV and boost private procurement of renewables for SMEs,” said SolarPower Europe.

Other recommendations include maintaining the ambitious definition of renewable hydrogen and renewable fuels of non-biological origins, leveraging national schemes to support renewable technology and supporting proposals to accelerate renewable-based electrification and energy system integration.

Last month, European leaders called on the European Investment Bank (EIB) to investigate how to speed up investments in the energy transition to reduce the risk of future energy price crises. The European Commission (EC) has released a “toolbox” to address the short-term impact of price rises and strengthen resilience against future shocks.

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