The EU has been making great strides towards solar power in the recent years. Recently, EU ambassadors met together to revise the renewable energy directive, setting a goal to reach 32% renewable energy from the EU by 2030.
In fact, the EU bank has invested $11.75 million in solar energy in Zambia, Africa, proving their overall commitment to solar energy. Over the past few years, the EU has become a leader in renewable energy sources, building more wind and solar without any subsidies provided. Yet, they are in a solar race with China who currently holds the top spot for producing the most solar energy in the world. Therefore, Europe has upped the ante. Heavy investments in solar followed by large directives are large strides in the right direction, but more action is needed to follow China’s lead. Still, Europe stands as the prime example to the US and other western nations of the benefits of solar investments.
Different entities in the EU have increased their output of solar production at different rates. Germany is one of the leaders of solar energy. Around 40 percent of the EU’s entire photovoltaic production comes from Germany. In fact, Germany thought that the 32% goal from the renewable energy directive was “unambitious,” raising the bar for the amount of renewable energy harnessed in Europe.
Other countries are impressive in other ways. The next 20% of Europe’s total comes from Italy, who is ranked 5th in the world just behind the US. In 2017, Turkey led Europe in solar capacity growth with a 1.79 GW, accounting for almost a quarter of Europe’s overall growth. Denmark set a plan to reach 200 MW of photovoltaic capacity by 2020, but almost doubled their goal in the following year. Their ultimate goal is 100% renewable energy use by 2050.
Some countries are more successful at this transition into renewable energies than others. There are various factors which determine the status of solar energy in a country, ranging from climate and sun exposure to political will and financial status.