Report: Europe’s renewables market to boom by 2030

Almost 84% of all energy generated in Europe will come from either solar, onshore wind, offshore wind or hydropower by 2050, with capacity to boom over the next 10 years, according to new research.

Report: Europe’s renewables market to boom by 2030

Fossil-fired generation is expected to decline by 0.6% in 2023 and 1.2% in 2024

The Future of European Renewable Energy report has been developed by consultants White Space Strategy, which analysed more than 300 data sources across key European markets on behalf of Panasonic Toughbook.

The report found that by 2050, energy generation from four key renewable sources – solar, onshore wind, offshore wind or hydropower – will account for almost 84% of total generation, up from just below 50% in 2021.

The report finds that solar is expected to overtake onshore wind energy as the primary renewable generation source across European states. Across the assessed markets, the current generation capacity from solar is 200GW, but the report states this will double by 2030 and reach 1,400GW by 2050. European states will need to introduce policies to help the solar market expand by more than seven times its current capacity in less than 30 years.

Onshore wind is expected to increase by 50GW to 250GW by 2030, reaching 800GW by 2050. Offshore wind is expected to reach 300GW by 2050.

While fossil fuels currently account for 34% of the energy mix across the 13 European markets analysed, its share of the energy mix is expected to drop to just 3% by 2050. Hydropower expansion will be “limited to specific mountainous topographies” the report added.

“As European countries turn more towards renewable energy, the expertise and skills surrounding this infrastructure will need to grow and move across Europe,” White Space Strategy’s director Andrew Downs said.

“Personnel operating in these new environments will need to be equipped with technology that allows to them to operate efficiently and effectively in harsh, disconnected, and remote environments.”

UK focus

The report notes that the UK currently has a capacity of approximately 140GW across the four renewable technologies. By 2030, current policies and targets will see capacity more than double to 345GW.

According to the IEA Renewable 2021 Report, offshore wind will account for more than half of all renewables growth in the UK. This, in turn, will make the country the “second-largest global growth market for offshore wind” behind China.

However, the UK will have some price hurdles to overcome. The report claims that solar farms will be the cheapest of the four technologies, but that there are some price divergences across different markets. The UK, for example, will likely have to install solar farms at a price of $1,545/kW – more than double the costs of the same project type in Spain, at $849/kW.

Panasonic Toughbook’s regional sector manager, Nick Miller added: “Offshore wind renewable energy is vital to our national energy strategy, accounting for more than half of all UK&I renewables growth, with our unique coastal environments enabling the UK&I to become the second-largest growth market for offshore wind globally.”

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