The first results of the pv market for 2020 in Europe

According to the new version of „2020-2024 EU Solar Power Market Outlook“ published by Solarpowereurope, despite the impact of COVID-19, the growth rate of the European solar market will show double-digit growth of 11% in 2020. Thus, 2020 becomes the second best solar year since 2011 for Europe.

In terms of the market, the order of the largest markets is no surprise. We find in top 1 Germany, then the Netherlands, Spain, Poland which overtakes France.

=> TOP n ° 5: France, good results with very ambitious objectives.

France is the fifth solar market in Europe in 2020, the total capacity of the national market exceeds the 10GW installed. The country has therefore just passed half of its target for 2023 of 20.6 GW.
In addition to the growing overall energy demand of the population, let us retain the very ambitious objectives of the government of the country detailed in the PPE: Multi-year energy programming, which sets the following objectives of installed capacity: 20, 6 GW by 2023. 35.6-44.5 GW by 2028. This equates to an increase of 3.3 GW per year by 2023.
Agrisolar, floating photovoltaics, and self-consumption will be the massive markets that will make it possible to achieve such objectives.

=> TOP n ° 4 : Poland, The booming market.

In fourth position, Poland is one of these major European emerging markets, whether in terms of installed capacity or overall market development, the new installed capacity of 1.85 GW in 2020 is impressive.

Despite the impact of the epidemic, Poland’s total installed solar capacity has reached around 3.15 GW.

The market consists mainly of small domestic installations with 350,000 small installations representing a capacity connected to the grid of 2.3 W.

Why is this market exploding so much?

First, the active self-use plan put in place by the government and which allows owners to balance energy expenditure smoothed over the year. The net metering policy put in place (NEM) also allows owners to convert their excess electricity production into free electricity (under certain conditions of course). During the year 2020, Polish small and medium-sized enterprises could also obtain the status of „professional owners of electricity production“ which strongly encouraged to develop industrial and commercial photovoltaics and to cover part of their own energy needs. .

Secondly, the new Polish policy allows an exemption from VAT for solar installations and this coupled with various tax relief measures: reduction of income taxes, granting of loans and preferential subsidies through the National Fund for the Protection of Solar Energy environment and water management and low interest bank loans.

Also, the electricity tender system set up in the country allows energy price stability for 15 years.

Finally, it should be noted that the Polish government and representatives of the photovoltaic industry recently signed an agreement to increase the development of solar energy. Solar is therefore seen as one of the key technologies to achieve renewable energy targets before 2040.

Going forward, Poland will install between 9 and 11 GW of solar power by 2024, with an average annual increase of around 2 GW. Clearly the country’s objective is to maintain its position in this TOP5, or even climb a few more steps of the podium.

=> TOP n ° 3: Spain-Exceptional resources and a supportive government. 

In 2020, Spain is the third largest solar market in the EU with certainly the best solar resources on the continent.

Prior to COVID-19, UNEF estimated that the new capacity of ground-mounted PV plants in Spain would be around 2-3 GW in 2020. According to data at the end of October, ground-based plants increased by 1.45 GW and overall, all new photovoltaic installations were 2.6 GW.

Despite COVID-19, it is the residential installations that have been mainly boosted.

For the future, according to the Spanish National Energy and Climate Plan (PNEC), photovoltaic energy should reach around 2.8 GW per year over the next ten years.

In addition, the Spanish government has approved Decree 960/2020, which provides for a new fixed price system for the production of renewable energy, which is awarded through competitive bidding.

The government also wants to develop a national support strategy for self-consumption, which will set a target for installed capacity by 2030.

Spain improves administrative authorization conditions and grid connection procedures. In January 2021, a new order on grid connection aims to resolve these problems and ensure that capacities are allocated to projects with greater development potential. These will ensure that Spain will maintain its position in the top five GW level markets in Europe over the next few years.

=> TOP n ° 2 : The Netherlands – A rock.

Second EU market in 2020: The Netherlands added around 3 GW of installed capacity last year, and a 12 GW subsidy project is under construction. Forecasts predict between 2.5 and 3.5 GW more PV installations in 2021 to reach around 13GW more PV power over the next five years.

The country has also invested in new types of facilities such as floating and carports with the construction of a record-breaking 35 MW photovoltaic carport as part of a festival.


A third of new installed capacity is dedicated to domestic PV. The concept of rooftop solar systems is currently more popular than onshore wind turbines.

The main driver of solar power in the Netherlands is seen as the incentive of the SDE + tender program. In the spring of 2020, the last round of grants of 4 billion euros took place, and solar energy received 98% of the allocated projects, or 3.44 GW.

Overall, the Netherlands, as the EU’s second largest PV market at GW level, has a strong, resilient and stable outlook.

=> TOP n ° 1 : Germany as the leader, sustainable and reliable.

Germany is expected to add 4.8 GW of PV installations in 2020, again ranking first in the EU’s PV ranking with an annual growth outlook of 7 GW in 2022.

As a PV empire for many years, Germany’s achievements are not surprising: Germany’s total installed solar PV capacity has reached 54.6 GW, making it the leader in Europe.

The German market is very healthy and is expected to grow steadily in the coming years.

Even though the level of solar radiation in Germany is not very high compared to that of many other European countries (// to Spain for example), the German solar energy industry is flourishing and continues to grow, and Germany in no way indicates the loss of its TOP1 status at European level in the coming years.

The new German law, adopted by the German Parliament at the end of 2020, reorganizes the support framework for distributed solar energy and includes major warnings, among others the legal requirement for national tendering for roofing projects. Ultimately the final revised law requires 300 kW, which will reduce the interest of large roof owners in the development of new pv systems.

The new policy is more conducive to small rooftop solar, high retail electricity prices, low cost PV systems, and the EU’s recovery and resilience plan will provide financial support, so that residential rooftop solar power is expected to continue its upward trend.

German solar energy has the characteristics of flexibility, scalability and low cost, at the same time the tendering capacities will continue to grow over the next three years, which will certainly allow Germany to maintain its leading position in Europe.

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