EU’s RES installations in ’22 climb to record level

Wind and solar energy installations reached a record level in the EU last year, adding 57 GW to the continent’s grid, a 16 percent year-on-year rise, according to a European Commission report for the fourth quarter in 2022.

These increased RES installations helped renewable energy capture an increased share of the EU’s energy mix in 2022, rising 39 percent, up from 38 percent in 2021, the Brussels 4Q report showed.

Solar energy output rose by 26 percent in 2022, offering an additional 41 TWh, onshore wind farm generation increased by 10 percent, or 33 TWh, while offshore wind farm production grew by 4 percent, delivering an additional 2 TWh to Europe’s grid.

Solar and wind energy’s combined output in 2022 rose by 14 percent, offering an additional 76 TWh, according to the report.

Hydropower generation fell by 17 percent, or 61 TWh, as a result of dominant drought periods in a number of European countries during 2022.

Nuclear energy generation was also down in the EU last year, falling 17 percent, or 118 TWh, as a result of disruptions and facility maintenance delays in France.

The European Power Benchmark, the continent’s average wholesale baseload electricity price, rose 121 percent in 2022 compared to a year earlier, reaching 230 euros per MWh, the 4Q report showed.

Italy recorded Europe’s highest average wholesale electricity price in 2022, at 304 euros per MWh, followed by Malta, at 294 euros per MWh, Greece, at 279 euros per MWh, and France, at 275 euros per MWh, the European Commission report noted.

China shortages up PV prices, investment plans in jeopardy

Solar panel prices have registered further price increases over the past week, driven higher by electricity shortages and higher coal costs in China, the world’s dominant solar module manufacturer.

The price escalation, decreased production and delivery delays are jeopardizing solar energy investment plans, including in Greece, where RES investors are in danger of missing crucial sector deadlines and face growing pressure because of the solar module price ascent.

The price of polysilicon, used as a raw material by the solar photovoltaic industry, rose by 8.6 percent in China, according to PV-Infolink, adding to the upward trajectory of the past month, which is forecast to continue.

In the Modules market, 360-370/435-445W Mono-facial Mono PERC prices were up 2.1 percent last week, while 182mm Mono-facial Mono PERC and 210mm Mono-facial Mono PERC prices rose by 2 percent.

As for glass, 3.2mm sheet prices rose by 3.8 percent and 2mm sheet prices increased by 5 percent.

PV-Infolink has projected further price increases next week, in excess of 3 percent, for all PV materials, except glass.

Solar module manufacturer Amerisolar, a US brand with production facilities in China, Taiwan and the USA, noted, in an announcement, that the current situation is expected to continue into October given the fact that China’s solar module production capacity is currently at just 50 percent.

Also, the delay in deliveries by Chinese producers is a concern ahead of the anticipated end-of-year spike in orders, a customary market trend.