China and the EU have the most installed solar power capacity

English Section #Energie / 10 mai

China and the EU have the most installed solar power capacity

Versiunea în limba română

Solar power accounted for three-quarters of the capacity additions to renewable energy production units worldwide in 2023, according to, which notes that most of this expansion took place in Asia, the EU and the US, continuing the trend observed in the last decade.

As of 2022, China's total installed capacity is 393 GW, almost double the EU's 205 GW, and more than three times the US total of 113 GW, according to data from Belgian think tank Bruegel.

As of 2017, China had a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about 25% in installed PV capacity, while the US saw a CAGR of 21% and the EU 16%. In addition, China dominates the production of solar energy components, currently controlling about 80% of the global solar panel supply chain, the source noted.

In 2022, China's solar industry employed 2.76 million people, with manufacturing roles accounting for approximately 1.8 million, with the remaining 918,000 jobs being in construction, installation and operations, respectively maintenance.

The EU industry employed 648,000 people, while the US reached 264,000 jobs in the field.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), China accounts for nearly 60% of the new renewable energy capacity that is estimated to become operational globally by 2028. Despite the phasing out of national subsidies in 2020 and 2021, solar deployment photovoltaics in China is accelerating. Expectations show the Asian country will reach its national 2030 target for wind and solar PV installations in 2024, six years ahead of schedule.

The European photovoltaic manufacturing industry, supported by Brussels

The European Commission has intensified its efforts to support the solar energy sector in Europe by promoting the signing of a European Solar Energy Charter with EU member states and industry representatives, according to a press release from the Community Executive, quoted by Agerpres.

On April 15, on the occasion of the first day of the informal meeting of the Energy Council, the Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson, ministers from 23 EU countries and several representatives of the sector signed the new Charter.

Kadri Simson said at the signing ceremony: "The photovoltaics production sector for solar energy is essential for achieving our goals in the field of energy, climate and competitiveness. We need to ensure that the solar industry remains strong to contribute to Europe's future energy mix, focused on renewable energy sources. The European Solar Energy Charter brings together the Commission, national authorities and relevant industry, promoting cooperation and providing support for the production of solar panels manufactured in Europe".

The Charter sets out a series of voluntary commitments to support the EU photovoltaics production sector. The document marks the latest step in the Commission's measures to support the production of solar panels in Europe, following a proposal for a regulation on the "zero net" industry, which is now tentatively agreed by the co-legislators, and the establishment of the European Solar Photovoltaic Industry Alliance.

The charter will ensure that the green transition and Europe's industrial goals go hand in hand, by accelerating the use of renewable energy sources, while increasing the sector's competitiveness and creating "green" jobs.

Wind energy production in Europe has surpassed gas plants

Europe's wind power output surpassed gas-fired power plants for the first time last year as fossil fuel electricity generation fell, reducing the region's carbon emissions, data from the climate think tank showed. and Ember energy, quoted by Reuters.

Europe is ramping up renewable energy generation as part of efforts to wean off Russian fuels and meet its climate goals. The EU has committed to achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

Fossil fuel electricity production in Europe fell by a record 19% in 2023 compared to 2022, gas-fired power plant production fell by 15%, and coal-fired power fell by 26% , says the Ember report, published in February. At the same time, wind energy production increased last year by 13%, being responsible for 18% of the energy mix in Europe.

"Europe is moving towards phasing out the use of coal, there have been four years in a row in which the production of gas-fired power plants has decreased, and we expect the trend to continue," said Dave Jones, director at Ember, in an interview. according to Agerpres.

The decline in electricity generation from fossil fuels and the increase in renewable and nuclear energy production led to a 19% decline in carbon emissions from the energy sector. Ember data shows that gas-fired power plants provided almost 17% of the electricity used in Europe last year, with coal just over 12%.

Also, nuclear energy was in 2023 the most important source of electricity, being responsible for almost 23% of the electricity used in Europe, and solar energy for 9%. In total, combined renewable energy was responsible for 44% of the electricity used in Europe in 2023, a record high.

Demand for electricity fell by 3.4% last year due to reduced industrial consumption and mild weather, but Dave Jones says demand for electricity will rise this year amid increased use of heaters and powered cars with electricity.

"Renewable energy must keep pace with increasing demand to meet climate goals," Jones concluded.

Renewables generated a record 30% of global electricity in 2023, driven by the rise of solar and wind power, particularly in China, according to the Global Electricity Review 2024, recently published by think tank Ember. The report suggests that 2023 marks a significant turning point in the energy sector, as it is likely to be the year when emissions peak, signaling the beginning of a decline in fossil fuel generation on a global scale, notes

According to the report, solar has become the leading provider of electricity, adding twice as much new electricity generation as coal in 2023. Projected growth in clean electricity provides confidence that a new era of lower energy emissions is on the horizon , with an anticipated 2% decline in global fossil fuel generation in 2024.

"The future of renewables has arrived," said Dave Jones, director of Ember's Global Insights Program, noting that solar, in particular, has accelerated at a faster rate than previously anticipated.