Gustavo Bernal Torres
EU’s Record Solar Summer Helps Avoid €29bn in Gas Imports
The EU generated a record 12% of its electricity from solar from May to August 2022, helping to avoid a potential €29 billion in fossil gas imports.
From May to August, the EU generated a record 12% (99.4 TWh) of electricity from solar power – up from 9% (77.7 TWh) last summer. Solar surpassed the share of wind (12%) and hydro (11%) in the power mix and was not far from coal’s 16%. Without the record 99 TWh of solar generation over the past four months, the EU would have had to purchase another 20 bcm of fossil gas. Based on the daily gas prices for May to August, this equates to avoided gas costs of €29 billion.
Solar share records were broken in 18 out of 27 EU countries. The largest increase in solar generation since 2018 was in Poland, which increased solar generation 26 times, followed by 5-fold increases in Finland and Hungary. 10 EU Member States generated over a tenth of their electricity from solar panels during the summer of 2022. The highest share was in the Netherlands (23%), followed by Germany (19%) and Spain (17%).