European Union countries as a whole generated more solar power than ever before in the summer months, according to a study published Thursday that said 12 percent of the electricity consumed by member states came from the sun.
The Twenty-seven have produced between the months of May and August 99.4 terawatt hours (TWh) of solar energy, an increase of 22 terawatt hours over the same period last year, according to the report prepared by the think tank Ember Climate.
This extra solar energy produced is equivalent to 29 billion euros of gas imports, according to the study’s calculations.
In total, 12 percent of the energy produced in the Union between May and August was of solar origin, up from 9 percent last year in the same period.
“As Europe is rocked by the gas crisis, solar brings much-needed relief,” said Ember Climate analyst Pawel Czyzak, stressing that 18 of the 27 EU countries have broken their own records for share of solar power produced.
The Netherlands leads the way in solar generation with 23 percent, followed by Germany with 19 percent and Spain with 17 percent.
Also, two new countries have surpassed the 10 percent solar share mark: Belgium and Denmark, bringing the total number of countries generating a tenth of their electricity or more from the sun to 10.
Poland has made the most progress in growing its solar capacity, with power generated from the sun increasing 26-fold since 2018. This year, Poland produced 8 percent of its total energy from solar.
The report also found that solar power growth was accelerating across Europe. Between 2020 and 2021, the bloc saw growth of 8 terawatt hours (TWh), but between 2021 and 2022, that increase soared to 22 terawatt hours.