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Germany Is Europe's Solar Energy Front-Runner


This article is published in collaboration with Statista 

by Anna Fleck


According to assessments by the International Renewable Energy Agency in 2022, Germany had an installed photovoltaic capacity of around 67 gigawatts, making it the European country with the greatest solar energy potential. The capacity of the Federal Republic in that year was more than twice as high as Italy's, which ranked second with 25 gigawatts. As our graphic illustrates, the expansion of solar potential in Germany over the past decade has been comparatively sluggish within Europe.


The photovoltaic capacity of the Federal Republic showed an annual average growth rate of around six percent between 2013 and 2022. In terms of the eight European countries with the highest solar capacities, this places Germany in seventh position ahead of Italy. The growth champion in this group is Poland, which has been able to increase its capacities by 137 percent per year since 2013. Between 2020 and 2022 alone, the country nearly tripled its solar potential. The Netherlands ranks second in this category with an average annual growth of 40 percent, and the United Kingdom is in third place with approximately 17 percent.


Globally, the capacity of installed and grid-connected photovoltaic systems in 2022 reached about one terawatt or 1,000 gigawatts. This accounts for approximately one-third of the capacity of all renewable energies or about 12 percent of the total capacity for electricity generation. China made the largest contribution to the expansion of solar capacity in that year. The East Asian country accounted for about one-third of the installed capacity of renewable energies and approximately 57 percent of global solar energy capacity. Additionally, according to the Statistical Federal Office, around nine out of ten solar panels imported to Germany in 2022 came from the People's Republic of China. Outside of Europe, the United States, Japan, and India are among the countries with the highest photovoltaic capacities.


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