Solar power supply in the European Union during June and July rose to a record high in 2021, accounting for 10 per cent of total electricity produced in the region, a report by independent climate think-tank Ember says.
The 27 countries in the bloc generated nearly 39 terawatt hours (TWh) of power from solar panels during June and July, up 10.9 TWh from 2018, data shows.
Records were also set in eight EU countries, including Spain and Germany, the report says, as the production and use of panels increased.
“There are exciting green shoots in core solar markets where solar is taking off, but overall it is not growing fast enough,” Ember analyst Charles Moore said.
Total generation from solar panels lagged the electricity supply from coal, which stood at 14 per cent for the region in June and July of 2021.
As part of a package of climate policies, the European Commission has proposed an overhaul of renewable energy rules, which decide how quickly the bloc must increase the use of sources such as wind, solar and biomass energy produced from burning wood pellets or chips.
It has set an interim target for the EU to raise the share of such renewable energy to 40 per cent of final consumption by 2030, up from roughly 20 per cent in 2019.
Germany maintained the largest share of solar power production, going from 11.5 TWh to 13.4 TWh, which accounted for 17 per cent of overall electricity produced in the country during the summer period in 2021.
Spain had the largest growth for the summer period over four years, more than doubling from 3.1 TWh in 2018 to 6.4 TWh in 2021, which accounted for 16 per cent of total electricity produced in the country in 2021.
Australian Associated Press