How photovoltaics can contribute to GHG emission reductions of 55% in the EU by 2030

Elsevier, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Volume 126, July 2020, 109836
Authors: 
Arnulf Jäger-Waldau; Ioannis Kougias; Nigel Taylor; Christian Thiel

The new European Commission plans to raise the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target from 40% towards 55% by 2030 and make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Achieving this will require accelerated energy efficiency measures, deeper electrification of sectors currently consuming conventional fuels and the deployment of more renewables, faster. This opinion article looks specifically at the role of photovoltaics (PV), based on scenarios from the Commission's 2018 long-term strategy (LTS) for energy and climate. To reach a 55% GHG emissions reduction, the cumulative PV capacity in the EU and the UK would need to surge to 455–605 GW, depending on the strategic policy scenario. This implies a compound annual growth rate between 12 and 15% in the timeframe 2020–203 to increase the annual PV market from approximately 16.5 GW in 2019 to 50–80 GW by 2030. Such a volume can provide the basis for reviving the European solar manufacturing industry as well as creating more than 100 000 jobs along the value chain.