Increasing the number of solar installations is an important step on the path to clean energy and greenhouse gas neutrality. Germany has been the leader in this field for years, but the Netherlands has the most solar panels per capita. By 2050, solar energy could become the dominant energy source in Europe.
2022 was a breakthrough year. For the first time in history, European Union countries produced more electricity from wind and solar than from gas. Thanks to technological progress, the cost of producing energy from the sun has dropped by 90 percent since 2009, making it currently the cheapest source of energy. In 2022, 26 out of 27 EU countries installed more solar panels than the year before. Germany has remained the leader since the beginning of the 21st century. Right behind them were Spain, Poland, the Netherlands and France. – The plans are indeed ambitious. In accordance with the updated Polish energy policy, which was not adopted by the government but presented to the public, we are to achieve over 44 gigawatts of photovoltaic power in 2040. Now we have about 13 gigawatts – explains Robert Tomaszewski, economic and energy analyst, Polityka Insight.
A sunny future
Within a year, the ability to produce energy using photovoltaics in our country increased by 29 percent. This is thanks to the growing popularity of home installations. – We currently have 1.3 million prosumers in the country. This is a huge number of people who produce electricity from the Sun on their own, notes Robert Tomaszewski. Poland remains the EU leader when it comes to the number of people employed in the photovoltaic industry. Spain and Germany are right behind it. This is what the leading countries with the largest number of solar panels per capita in the European Union look like. The ranking starts with the Netherlands, where 48 million solar panels have been installed. There are on average two panels per resident. It is closely followed by: Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Estonia, Spain, Greece, Malta and Portugal.
The Netherlands is among the six countries responsible for the greatest environmental pollution in Europe. That’s why the Dutch government wants 70 percent of energy to come from renewable sources by the end of this decade. In 2022, it allocated EUR 13 billion for this purpose. In 2015, photovoltaic farms in the Netherlands accounted for one percent of energy production. In 2022, when 91 sunny days were recorded, it was already 14 percent. For the first time in history, the Netherlands produced more electricity from the sun than from coal. In Poland, coal is still the main source of energy.
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Main photo source: Reuters