2023 - The third year of massive growth and outlook into 2024
In 2023, for the third consecutive year, the PV market in the EU grew by more than 40% year-on-year, adding nearly 60 GW of new installed capacity. While the pace of PV build-out still varies significantly among individual European countries, we can confidently say that the era of 'fossil islands' in the EU is a thing of the past. It's particularly gratifying to see our country among those making significant strides in transforming the energy mix.
The absolute installation numbers are indeed noteworthy — the Czech Republic, for example, nearly re-entered the gigawatt market after many years with 980 MW of new installations. However, the most remarkable aspect is the percentage growth, reaching thousands of percent in our domestic market. We're proud to have made a substantial contribution to this growth, particularly in the largest industrial power plants. Europe now has 14 gigawatt markets, and Greenbuddies functions in most of them. A vital market for us, in the Netherlands, added 4.1 GW of new installations, increasing the installed PV capacity to about 1,280 watts per capita, roughly four times that of our domestic market.
We expect market dynamics to continue accelerating in the coming years, driven by improved administrative conditions in many European markets and further reductions in panel unit prices. Projects that were financially unviable just a few years ago will now be feasible. However, analysts suggest this trend may slow over a ten-year horizon as the relative cost of human labor to components substantially increases — labor costs are unlikely to decrease. At some point, panel prices might reach a level where technical limitations prevent further price reductions.
The Czech market, now crucial for us, is expected to grow even more significantly than the European average over the next ten years. In 2024, we anticipate a surge in the construction of large-scale solar parks. The Czech market features a variety of developers, and Greenbuddies is preparing almost 1 GW of new projects for construction in joint ventures with two multinational investors.
Photovoltaics are still on the rise in Europe and globally. Taking this for granted would be a mistake. The current trends are highly favorable:
- Solar energy is now the least investment-intensive and cheapest source of energy. However, these prices, coupled with the normalization of the energy market, will bring some competition with other sources.
- Improved logistics and product transport from China post-Covid have ensured good panel availability, but issues like piracy in the Red Sea could potentially disrupt logistics again.
- Currently, all EU countries favor solar energy, though some debate the share of PV in the energy mix.
Despite these challenges, the new National Energy Plans (NECPs) of EU members indicate that PV capacity will rise to nearly 600 GW, and the REPowerEU targets even 750 GW by 2030.
In 2024, we're in for another record year. Come join us!
Chief Sales Buddy