New analysis by energy think tank Ember reveals that, for the first time, solar panels generated a tenth of EU-27 electricity during their peak months of June and July this year.
Solar panels generated 39 terawatt-hours in June-July 2021, up from 28TWh in the same period in 2018.
Eight EU countries set a new solar record share during the summer peak this year: Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Spain.
Seven EU countries generated over a tenth of their electricity from solar panels in June-July 2021, with the Netherlands (17%), Germany (17%), Spain (16%), Greece (13%) and Italy (13%) leading the way.
Hungary has quadrupled its solar share since June-July 2018, while the Netherlands and Spain have doubled.
Estonia and Poland have gone from near-zero solar in 2018 to 10% and 5% respectively in June-July 2021.
Ember also found that solar still generated less electricity than Europe’s coal power plants, even during the height of the summer peak.
The EU-27 has added 14TWh of solar generation every year on average in the last two years. However, according to the European Commission, annual growth in the next decade must double to 30TWh in order to meet the EU’s new 2030 climate targets.
New solar electricity is cheaper than existing fossil plants across major markets including Germany, the UK, Italy, France and Spain.
The global average levelised cost of electricity for utility-scale solar has reduced from $381/MWh in 2010 to $57/MWh in 2020, Ember said.