starting up our own green power production unit: 4 solar panels, March 2000
Europe going solar



Solar statistics Europe 2009*

Zonne-statistieken Europa 2009*

On this webpage I present graphs that I made from the data published by EurObserv'ER in their Photovoltaic Barometer report (April 2010), the Solar Thermal Barometer report (May 2010), and data presented in earlier reports on these renewable energy markets. In addition, in March 2011 EurObserv'ER published their 10th State of Renewable Energies in Europe report, with new data for a few countries only. For two graphs for PV development updates have been included (marked in the legends). Further updates will follow as the new Photovoltaic Barometer will be published and time can be found to adjust the spreadsheets and graphs. For a verbose summary of mentioned report, with graphs, see the article of March 4, 2011 (Dutch).

Op deze pagina presenteer ik grafieken die ik heb gemaakt van data gepubliceerd door EurObserv'ER in respectievelijk hun Photovoltaic Barometer rapport (april 2010) en hun Solar Thermal Barometer rapport (mei 2010), en van eerder gepubliceerde data over deze hernieuwbare energie markten. In maart 2011 publiceerde EurObserv'ER hun 10e "status van hernieuwbare energie in Europa" rapport, met nieuwe data voor slechts enkele landen. Ik heb deze data verwerkt voor PV en op deze pagina twee grafieken ververst (gemarkeerd in legenda). Verdere updates zullen volgen zodra het nieuwe PV-Barometer rapport beschikbaar zal komen. Voor een uitgebreide bespreking van genoemd rapport, zie het artikel van 4 maart 2011.

* 2009 Preliminary results/voorlopige resultaten. With respect to the preceding years, the last available data from previous reports have been taken as "final" results (according to EurObserv'ER statistics, for some countries some minor corrections have been implemented a year after the first publication of those results). EurObserv'ER provides "fast-access" data to be able to track market volume growth as soon as possible.

Capacities shown are in DC generator capacity, hence the STC value of the PV-modules in the solar installations. Internationally known as "Wp" ("Wattpeak"). Inverter (AC) capacity is not considered here.

Changes with respect to Photovoltaic Barometer report May 2010
Market development for photovoltaics in EU27 GRAPHS
Market development for thermal solar collectors in EU27 GRAPHS


Previous report (up till 2008)

Previous and more recent reports:
up till 2010, up till 2008

Summary 10th Renewable Energies report EurObserv'ER here (March 4, 2011)


In april 2010 werd een nieuw overzicht van statistieken over zonnestroom in de EU27 gepubliceerd door EurObserv'ER. In mei 2010 volgde het rapport over thermische zonne-energie (zonnecollector markt) in de EU27. Polder PV maakte wederom, net als voor het vorige rapport over met name 2008, grafieken van de belangrijkste cijfers, en belichtte nog enkele opvallende zaken. Voor twee grafieken (PV) werd gebruik gemaakt van data gepubliceerd begin maart 2011.

Veranderingen Photovoltaik Barometer rapport 2009 en 10th State of Renewable Energies rapport 2009
Changes between Photovoltaik Barometer rapport 2009 and 10th State of Renewable Energies rapport 2009

Screendump van spreadsheet van de EurObserv'ER rapporten wat Polder PV heeft gemaakt.
Gedeelte van de nieuwe gegevens voor zonnestroom markt in EU27 in 2009.

Yellow fields: changed data. Most particular France (+ 42 MWp), Italy (+ 149 MWp) and Austria (+ 15 MWp). All changes together have lead to 210 MWp extra capacity for EU27, as compared to the previous Photovoltaic Barometer Report published May 2010.

Grafieken met marktontwikkeling zonnestroom in EU27
Graphs with market development for photovoltaics in EU27

Figure 1. Update: March 2011 (10th State of Renewable Energies in Europe report).

Accumulated capacity of photovoltaic installations in the EU27, in GWp (1 GWp = 1.000 MWp = 1.000.000 kWp), in five consecutive years (2005-2009) according to the latest data reported by EurObserv'ER (note that numbers might have been refreshed in new reports dealing with previous years, the latest data available in these reports have been included here). Data are from the last and previous Photovoltaic Barometer reports.

The graph shows strong growth in these years, and an overwhelming dominance of grid-connected systems. Autonomous ("off-grid") systems make up only 0,9% of the PV market in 2009 and will dwindle even further in significance as the on-grid market grows with huge new volumes each year. Growth has been even negative between 2006 and 2007 for this small off-grid category. Growth in grid-connected PV was strong in that period (over 59%), almost doubled to 113 percent from the accumulated 2007 capacity into 2008, and even grew considerably 55% in the economic "crisis" year 2009. Final accumulated capacity in EU27 amounted to 15,93 GWp in 2009 (according to updated EurObserv'ER's (but still preliminary) data for that year, corrections will probably follow in the next photovoltaic barometer report).

Figure 2. Accumulated PV-capacity per EU27 country (only for 2009 accumulation is given in numbers for clarity). Note absolute dominance of world market Germany, with over 9,8 GWp accumulated, end of 2009 (in February of 2010, the 10 GWp milestone has been reached). Secondly, for the year 2009 a world record increase (difference between white and blue column, over 3,8 GWp in one year) for the German world market. Thereby again taking over the first position, as Spain, only one year worlds' biggest market for new installations in the previous year, has completely collapsed due to severe capping of the new capacity allowed under the FIT regime, accompanying regulatory bureaucracy, lower feed-in tariffs, and a land in turmoil with several economic crisis situations. Italy on a good third place with already over 1 GWp in accumulation, and increasing new capacities coming on-line. The rest of the EU27 countries is hardly visible on this scale (see graphs below for detail). Only the surprising Czech Republic and even more astonishing Belgium did very well considering their relative size and populations. For some markets, actual accumulation data can differ considerably, depending on the source and the status of the statistical reviews. Therefore, mind the red warning (also applicable to other graphs presented on this page).

Note that for France, the results for the overseas departments ("Departements Outre Mer", DOM) also have been included in the accumulated data by EurObserv'ER. For the dominant grid-connected market segment they account for a respectable accumulated total of 67,5 MWp in 2009, representing 25% of the 268,2 MWp connected to the grid in the whole country including DOM. This should be kept in mind if one wants to consider the European context focussed on the old subcontinent and its neigbouring isles. The "DOM" isles, French Guyana, and a small slice of Antarctica, all falling under a variety of administrative legislation frameworks, are scattered over the globe and far removed from the direct "physical" influence sphere of Europe, see English Wikipedia map and accompanying clarifications.

Figure 3. Same graph as figure 2, but with a scale better outlining the data for the rest of the EU27 countries (Germany up to France running off the Y-axis for 2009, see Figure 2). Note the strong differences in development between the other countries: explosive to good growth in the Czech republic, Belgium, France, and Portugal (good, uncapped incentive regimes). But low growth for my own country, the Netherlands. That once was on the forefront of market implementation, but that has lost all contact with reality with an extremely complicated, highly capped, and hardly stimulating "incentive" regime as of April 1, 2008 (example: 17.000 applications for "small category" in 2010 on first day, only 4.200 approved; 35.000 applications for "large category" in 2010 on first day, expected only app. 150 (!!!) to be approved because of marginal budget...).

Figure 4. Update: March 2011 (10th State of Renewable Energies in Europe report).

Detail showing the first 10 countries in the EU27 with respect to PV capacity accumulation, showing huge variation in the implemented PV-capacities (accumulated volume numbers shown for 2009 only). Difference between World Champion Germany and (in update:) Austria has become a staggering factor 197 in 2009. Difference with Spain has shrunk dramatically from a factor 32 in 2005 to only 2,8 in 2009. However, this is expected to grow again, as Germany already installed 6 GWp in the first 11 months of 2010, and the Spanish market is still struggling from the post 2008 collapse, showing only marginal growth since then (with more troubles looming ahead). In the "top ten", the Netherlands and Greece markets hardly grew significantly, only Austria seemed to have started a small mini-boom (passing UK for the time being with respect to accumulated capacity). It is expected, however, that in particular the UK market will get a boost from its implemented new, and well-balanced feed-in regime (it added 33,3 MWp under Ofgem's microgeneration scheme in 2010, data to be published by Polder PV). With the imminent hard-core crisis conditions in Greece it remains to be seen how much of its long-year potential of 3 GWp waiting in the bureaucrat's pipeline will see the grid on short notice...

Figure 5. Accumulation of PV-capacity in EU27 countries per inhabitant/capita and per year. For this, the World Population Reference Bureau data for 2009 have been used in the calculations by Polder PV (hence: mid 2009 population as fixed reference). Numbers shown for 2009 only, for other years refer to the scale of the Y-axis. A very different picture emerges, with the small country Luxembourg as a suprising third on the podium, behind Germany and Spain. However: incentives have been stopped there, and growth as of 2005 has been low. In contrast, the ratios in other countries have been growing fast. Not only in the world market Germany. Also Italy, the Czech republic and Belgium are developing fast (as of 2011 the perspective for Czech republic is however not good, if net manager problems are not solved). France - with its relative big population - still does not have a notable impact in this graph but will probably grow faster in coming years (2010 included). Portugal is positioned relatively high with its not too large population (10,6 million) but already 102,2 MWp of PV-installations (high impact of large field installations) according to EurObserv'ER. In the right of the graph, the average data for EU27 countries have been given. Already almost 32 Watt(peak) per capita has been realized in the EU27 in 2009, almost 4 times less on average than world champion Germany has reached in that year by itself.

Figure 6. Graph comparable to Figure 5, but this time the (land) surface area of the countries has been taken as reference for total PV capacity installed (in kWp of PV installed per square km. of land). Again, World Population Reference Bureau data have been used, published in their 2006 report. Yet another picture emerges (numbers shown for 2009 only). Related to surface available, Germany again taking the lead with almost 28 kWp per square kilometre of land available in 2009. But surprisingly, rapidly growing Belgium has taken the second position with almost 12 kWp/km², just before neighbouring Luxembourg. The next candidates are close together: Spain, Czech Republic, and the Mediterranean island state Malta, with Italy trailing further behind. Netherlands is taking the lead in the back-row, but its new capacity is only growing sluggishly. Most (small) installations have been realized already in its heigh-day in 2003... Average EU27 realisation in 2009 is 3,65 kWp per square km. of land surface.

Figure 7. Rating of ten best countries with respect to accumulated (total) PV capacity in 5 consecutive years (2009 left, 2005 right, screendump op Excel spreadsheet). Germany and Spain leading the way from the beginning, although the latter's second position in 2009 could be threatened in a few years time by surging Italy. Netherlands (marked yellow), once "the brave PV country bordering the North Sea", has given all its cards away and is gradually sinking from its respected third position in 2005 (due to a small market boom with (far to) hefty installation subsidies in 2003) to an extremely bitter 8th position in 2009. With little perspective that things will turn out to become better since its new "incentive" regime (SDE as of April 1, 2008) has turned out to be a totally unstimulating and heavily capped bureaucrat's nightmare full of investment uncertainties.

Figure 8. Year-on-year growth of the on-grid photovoltaic markets in EU27 countries for the period 2006 to 2009, in percentage of the previous market accumulation year published by EurObserv'ER. Actual percentages only presented for the period 2008-2009 for all countries. Yet another picture emerging. In world market Germany growth has been a good 64% in one of the deepest economic crisis years in modern human history. Czech Republic showed absurd growth of 757% (not considered "sustainable growth" in that country). Other remarkable growth percentages in Malta (plus 542%), Belgium (plus 412%), Greece (plus 303%), Slovakia (plus 283%) and France (plus 223%). Of course, when a market is still small the growth percentages will be very high (e.g., Portugal in 2006-2007, Bulgaria in 2007-2008). That is the reason that the growth in the already huge, mature world market Germany "seems" so modest in this comparison. Spain has been a tear jerker in 2009 (plus 3%) and its growth perspectives are dark because of constant troubles related to the 2008 boom, added to other structural problems (overcapacity in electricity generation).

Again, my own rich country the Netherlands, once a "top" market for a few years, is behaving as a very bad boy in this comparison, with low growth percentages (12% in 2008-2009, lower than growth in Sweden in Northern Europe, only minor help from the new "incentive" regime).To the right of the graph again the average data for all EU27 countries is presented. Showing "healthy" growth percentages of 96% for the period 2007-2008, and, suprisingly, a considerable 53% in the "crisis period" 2008-2009.

Figure 9. Same as for Figure 8, but now for the off-grid PV-systems in Europe. Remarkable growth in Bulgaria (plus 1.150%) and Estonia (plus 400%) in 2008-2009, but considering their still nascent markets these high percentages should be taken with precaution. All-over growth rates in most countries remain low, a few percent per year at the most, with further exceptions Hungary (doubling of off-grid market), Czech Republic and Finland. In Latvia apparently older off-grid installations have been scrapped from the records. Note that "decommissioning" policy in EU 27 states is mostly paperwork instead of real-time monitoring, and the guidelines for this tricky interpretation differ between states, if they even exist. EU 27 showed growth of 8% on average in the period 2008-2009.

Figure 10. Graph comparable to Figs. 8 and 9, but now all PV-installations (on-grid and off-grid) are shown in one graph. Some countries showed overall growth of a few hundred percent in 2008-2009 (Czech Republic, Malta, Belgium, Estonia and Slovenia). In reality, only Czech Republic and Belgium should be considered as "serious PV markets". This, however, can change in the future, strongly dependent on active policies to break the existing energy oligopolies, and to give maximum room for decentralized electricity generation. General EU 27 growth amounted to 53% in the period 2008-2009 (all PV installations).

Grafieken met marktontwikkeling van thermische zonnecollectoren in EU27
Graphs with market development for thermal solar collectors in EU27

Figure 11. Thermal solar collector market development in EU27 in the years 2005-2009. Newly added surface (m²) per year stagnated from 2006 to 2007 (slight decrease in new capacity added), grew again strongly with almost 51% (added: over 4,6 million m²) in 2008, but regrettably dropped again 9,6% in growth into the crisis year 2009 (orange columns, right Y-axis). Total accumulation of all m² installed in EU27 grew, however strongly, 17,2%, 12,9%, 18,7% and still a good 14,1% in the years 2006-2009 (dark brown columns in the background, left Y-axis). Already, a surface of 32,6 million square metres had been realized at the end of 2008 in the 27 EU countries, good for 2.916 MW of thermal power (MWth). This specific solar market seems to be more sensitive to political and economic factors than the more "sexy" PV market. The (temporary???) withdrawal from a good incentive in world market Germany in 2009 does not help to let this very important market segment flourish as it should.

Figure 12. Surface area (in million square meters) of thermal solar collectors in 27 EU countries. Again, Germany leads the way in unprecedented manner (almost 3 times as much surface area as the number 2), followed bij their southern, also German-speaking neighbour Austria that has a long tradition with this particular sustainable energy modus. Thermal collectors can be found on many roofs in the Mediterranean region, which is reflected in the data from EurObserv'ER: Greece leading the way and not far behind from Austria. Followed by Italy that has surpassed France, and Spain at a slightly smaller level. Surprisingly, Netherlands follows on number 7 (just ahead of Cyprus), but development of the market again remains relatively slow, despite the introduction of a new temporary incentive regime. Only for 2009 the accumulated data are given per country. Growth in Germany has been considerable in economic crisis year 2009 (added: 1,62 million m², only slightly less than in the previous year).

Figure 13. More detailed graph as Figure 12, better outlining the contributions of the "lesser" countries (Germany to Greece off-scale). Note that, apart from these first three countries, also strong growth occurred in Italy, France and Spain (France including DOM's).

Figure 14. Detail showing the first 10 countries in the EU27, with a considerable range of implemented thermal solar collector surface areas. The difference between Germany and Poland (somewhat surprising number 10) has grown to a factor 25 in 2008 - the "span" between the numbers 1 and 10 is much less wide than with photovoltaics (see Figure 3). The difference with the number 2, Austria, remains, however considerable - a factor of almost 3 in 2009. Growth has been moderate in most countries. Italy and Spain grew at a somewhat faster pace.

Figure 15. Accumulation of thermal solar collector capacity in EU27 countries in m² collector surface per inhabitant/capita and per year. Also for this graph, the World Population Reference Bureau data for 2009 have been used in the calculations (hence: mid 2009 population as fixed reference). And also in this picture, some other accents become visible as in the original graphs with "absolute" surface areas per country. This time, the small, sunny Mediterranean island of Cyprus leads the way, with a surface of 0,637 m² per inhabitant. Germany, leader when it comes to overall surface area realized, is set back to the fourth place with "only" 0,157 m²/pp. because of its large population (hence: smaller ratio per inhabitant). Austria is on the second position (0,515 m²/pp.), followed by the only other serious competitor Greece (0,361 m²/pp.). Following Germany other countries mostly have less than 0,1 square metre per inhabitant, with the exception of that other Mediterranean island, Malta, with 0,112 m²/pp. At the right end of the graph, the average data for EU27 countries have been given: 0,065 m² per capita has been realized in the EU27 in 2009, which easily should and could get much larger. Thermal solar energy can offset a lot of fossil primary energy use and should be stimulated with great urgency.

A similar graph can be made with the ratio MWth/capita, but this is almost identical with the graph presented here.

Figure 16. Graph comparable to that shown in Figure 15, but this time the total collector surface area accumulated is related to one square kilometre of land available in the country shown. Again, World Population Reference Bureau data for 2006 have been used for the calculation of that ratio. This time not Cyprus, but the much smaller Mediterranean island state of Malta is the best performer, with an impressive 139,7 m² of collector surface per square km. of land area. Cyprus is a good second (75,8), this time followed by Austria (51,6), Germany (36,1), and Greece (30,9 m²/km²). The relatively small Netherlands scores well in the next league, with 19,0 m²/km². Average EU27 score is 7,5 m² per square kilometre of land in 2009.

Figure 17. Rating of ten best countries with respect to accumulated (total) solar thermal capacity (in m²) in 5 consecutive years (2009 left, 2005 right, screendump op Excel spreadsheet). Comparable with Figure 7 for PV installations. Germany, Austria and Greece leading the way from the beginning, and probably unchallenged for years to come. France (including DOM, preliminary results) was pushed downwards by upcoming Italy in 2009 in the EurObserv'ER update. Czech Republic and Poland as surprising newcomers. Netherlands (yellow fields) has remained stable for years in this rating, after taking one step back from 2005 to 2006 due to rapidly developing Spain. It remains to be seen if the present seventh position can be kept in our troublesome country.

Figure 18. Year-on-year growth of the thermal solar collector markets in EU27 countries for the years 2006 to 2009, in percentage of the previous market accumulation year published by EurObserv'ER. Actual percentages only presented for the period 2008-2009 for all countries.

Yet another picture emerging, with relatively "low" growth in world market Germany (slightly over 14% in the period 2008-2009), and suprising strong growth for the Atlantic island nation of Ireland (54,2% in 2009). Other growth percentages are good (despite deep economic crisis conditions) and widely spread among EU27 nations. Portugal had a short boom year in 2007 and fell back to a more moderate 29% growth in 2008 and even 14% in 2009. Poor "growth performers" in relative sense are Cyprus, Greece and Sweden. Netherlands slightly increased its pace, with 10% growth in 2009 (note that its southern neighbour Belgium had almost double that growth rate). The minute state of Luxembourg (part of the Benelux to which Netherlands and Belgium also belong) had a peculiar negative correction (?) of its installed capacity growth in the period 2006-2007, but started growing again considerably in 2008 (possibly new correction of installation numbers?) and 2009. Also Bulgaria showed a strong negative correction, in 2008. Average European (EU27) growth numbers for these two years were 18,7 and 14,1%, respectively.

Links (homepage of EurObserv'ER) (The State of Renewable Energies in Europe - 10th EurObserv'ER Report - 2011; 203 pages, 10,3 MB) (Photovoltaic Barometer, April 2010, originally published in SYSTÈMES SOLAIRES le journal du photovoltaïque N° 3 – 2010; 23 pages, 3,54 MB) (Solar Thermal Barometer, May 2010, originally published in SYSTÈMES SOLAIRES le journal des énergies renouvelables N° 197 – 2010; 22 pages, 1,8 MB) (data sheets on world population and (2006 version) surface area by country)

Further reading: (European PhotoVoltaic Industry Association, EPIA. See publication list here, including the Annual Report 2009, pdf, 3 MB, and the latest market outlook up till 2014, pdf, 2,45 MB) (European Solar Thermal Industry Federation, ESTIF. See also report Solar Thermal Market in Europe. Trends and Market Statistics 2009 [June 2010], pdf 8,34 MB)

Pagina gepubliceerd op 23 juni 2010; partiële updates (gemarkeerde grafieken) 4 maart 2011.


© 2010-2011 Peter J. Segaar/Polder PV, Leiden (NL)