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Europe Responds to Landmark EU Solar Strategy

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A new dawn for European Solar as the European Commission significantly increases 2030 solar targets at 740 GWdc. This is in recognition of solar’s central role delivering for Europe’s security, economic and climate goals. An EU draft renewable target for 2030 has been increased to 45%.

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The landmark EU Solar Strategy has been launched by the European Commission. Given the impact of the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine and its ensuing consequences on energy security as well as record prices for energy, the Strategy is months ahead of its originally planned summer publication.

Ursula von der Leyen spoke to media members at the strategy launch and stated, “We have increased the 2030 EU renewable energy target from 40% to 45%.”

At the subsequent press conference Kadri SIMSON, EU Energy Commissioner, said “By 2030, the share of wind energy in power production capacities will double from the current 33% to 67%. Solar energy will be the biggest source of electricity in the EU by then, with more than half of it coming from rooftops.”

An unprecedented EU Solar Strategy sets a 592GWac target for EU Solar by 2030. This is 41% more than the initial Fit for 55 proposal that resulted in 420 GWac. Today’s 592GWac goal for EU Solar ambitions increases by 41%.

While Europe is stepping up its solar ambition, a new proposal to amend the Renewable Energy Directive sees the Commission increase its renewable ambition overall.

Walburga Shemetsberger, CEO at SolarPower Europe stated “Today is a turning point for EU solar, Europe’s energy security and European climate commitments.”

The EU Solar Strategy includes flagship initiatives by the European Commission that are in line with the SolarPower Europe proposals in our “8 Actions to solar power EU energy independence”.

Even conservative estimates suggest that European solar roofs could supply around 25% of EU’s electricity needs. A new EU Solar Rooftop Initiative taps into this potential. It proposes solar roofs for all new residential buildings and all commercial and public buildings by 2029. These measures will be incorporated into the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.

The Initiative considers solar’s role as a tool for tackling energy poverty, current energy price rises, and notes that vulnerable customers should be guaranteed access to solar energy through social housing, energy communities, or financial support.

The EU Solar Strategy recognizes the need for skilled workers and proposes a Partnership to bring together training and local stakeholders in a large-scale partnership. The Partnership can include both private and local funding. These proposals are part of the EU Pact for Skills to bring together training and solar stakeholders in a large-scale skills partnership.

Dries Acke, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe stated “Solar roofs offer a quick solution to the triple problems of energy security, poverty and climate emergency facing Europe. The EU Solar Skills Partnership will provide the labor force. “

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After Commissioner Simson’s pledge to do ‘whatever is necessary’ to redevelop European Solar Manufacturing’, the EU Solar Strategy establishes an EU Solar Industry Alliance. This alliance builds on the work done by the European Solar Initiative, and endorses its goal of 20 GW of domestic solar manufacturing capacity by 2025.

Naomi Chevillard is Head of Regulatory Affairs at SolarPower Europe. She said “A strong European manufacturing base is essential for the sustainability of the renewable transition. It will also unlock millions of euro in GDP. “

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