This is an extract from the recent European Market Outlook 2022 – 2026 by SolarPower Europe and highlights the top 10 European solar power markets of 2022.

As a result of high energy costs and greater legislative support, solar had another outstanding year in 2022. In 2022, the EU’s grid-connected solar capacity additions in the year was 41.4 GW, up 47 per cent from the previous year.

The top 10 solar markets in the EU accounted for 87 per cent of all deployments in 2022, a 3-percentage point decline from their proportion of 90 per cent in 2021. Between now and then, the share of the top 5 solar markets has decreased, accounting for 65 per cent of the market as opposed to 75 per cent in 2021 and 78 per cent in 2020. This is also demonstrated by the fact that more nations than the previous year have installed solar power. Many nations have indeed achieved their 2030 NECP commitments, and 21 of the 27 EU Member States will complete them by the close of 2025.

Because of this, the modification of NECPs beginning in 2023 is an essential chance for EU nations to raise their solar goals. The overall installed solar output across the key markets in the EU-27 member states in 2022 has increased in line with the pattern seen in annual increases. The EU’s solar energy production fleet expanded from 167.5 GW in 2021 to 208.9 GW, a 25 per cent growth. Only four years after surpassing the 100 GW landmark in 2018, the total solar output in the EU has surpassed 200 GW.

The top 5 European Union (EU) solar markets remain the same, though they have a different ranking from 2021. Portugal and Sweden are two entrants to the top 10 markets, replacing Austria and Hungary. In 2022, Hungary and Austria continued to enhance their solar output.

In 2022, Germany stood as the main solar market for Europe. In comparison to 6 GW in 2021, it installed 7.9 GW in 2022. The EU’s largest economy has mostly held the top rank since the early 2000s. After a consolidation phase following the first full feed-in tariff based European solar boom, Germany’s solar sector has been experiencing a second boost as of 2018. This is due to a combination of self consumption with attractive feed-in premiums for medium- to large-scale commercial systems and auctions for systems up to 10 MW, in addition to solar’s steadily improving cost competitiveness. Creating a new 2030 solar target of 215 GW installed capacity under a modern Economic Ministry led by the Green Party. The monthly declining slope of feed-in rates for new devices has been stopped until 2024, and the technological restriction to input only 70 per cent of rated power density will be eliminated starting in January 2023. High power bills further strengthened the financial case for solar, particularly when used in conjunction with storage.

Spain ranks second in Europe, experiencing a remarkable increase bringing the market to 7.5 GW, up 55 per cent from 4.8 GW in 2021. Utility scale development has been booming for some time for the first time since 2019 as it added more than 4 GW. In contrast, the expansion of rooftop solar has been unexpected. This is a recently created market in Spain that only started to take off when a burdensome tax was repealed in 2019. The energy shortage gave it a significant boost. In comparison to 2021, the market increased by over twofold in 2022. Builders are choosing solar projects that sell their energy on the open market because it is an appealing alternative than government-run auctions given the present state of the energy market.

Poland completes the top three rankings with its impressive solar record. Poland raised its annual solar installations again, this time by 29 per cent to 4.9 GW from 3.8 GW contributed in 2021. A surge of deployments in the small-scale rooftop category occurred over the first quarter of the year as a result of the switch from net-metering to net-billing beginning in April 2022. High power bills and huge energy security issues resulting from Russia’s war have assured a consistent pace of deployments across the year, despite a slightly less appealing support structure for small-scale solar projects. Complementary to this, as the nation works to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels, the utility-scale market keeps expanding quickly.

The Netherlands, which is still moving along the solar route, is ranked fourth. In 2022, the nation deployed 4 GW, an 11 per cent increase over the previous year. The household sector, with 1.8 GW of power additions, supplied the substantial share of this expansion, supported by a consistent favourable net-metering strategy. The commercial and industrial (C&I) segment, in comparison, has lost some ground due to declining incentives from the SDE++ scheme as well as rising technological and logistical expenses. However, the Dutch market still maintains a healthy balance between its multiple parts, which helps explain why it ranks first in Europe for solar capacity per person. The sector is increasingly considering multi-functional PV solutions like floating solar or solar carports in a nation where space availability is a problem.

France will continue to be the fifth-largest PV industry in the EU in 2022, adding 2.7 GW annually. Following the industry’s record-breaking success in 2021, when it climbed by 218 per cent year over year, a decline of 2 per cent has been noted. Many builders have delayed plans until economic and government circumstances improve due to the rise in solar energy costs and challenges in obtaining land that were seen in 2022. In contrast, the corporate self-consumption market has grown in magnitude as a result of a reform to the regulatory regime in the fall of 2021, when the rooftop bid threshold climbed from 100 to 500 kW, rendering more devices eligible for feed-in tariffs. Domestic solar is also growing in popularity in the nation, albeit still being minimal compared to its European counterparts.

Italy now ranks sixth in the EU as solar energy production reaches the yearly GW scale for the first time since 2013. The Italian market is booming, with an expected 2.6 GW of additional capacity and a rate of increase of 174 per cent year over year. Due to the nation’s advantageous 110 per cent assistance program and high-power prices, which have increased the allure of self-consumption economic models, the small-scale PV sector has boosted the industry. Even while getting permits and finding suitable sites for bigger PV projects continues to be difficult, actions are being taken in the right direction to streamline the process.

Portugal, which is also a new member of the GW market club is one of the two new additions in this year’s top ten rank. The seventh-placed nation is anticipated to climb by 251 per cent to 2.5 GW this year, largely as a result of the rapid growth of utility-scale solar. Many initiatives, including those resulting from the 2019 and 2020 auctions, have been given permissions through the end of 2022, which means they will probably be finished by the end of 2022. Self-consumption, which formerly had a minor role, is also swiftly gaining momentum.

Denmark is in 8th place overall. After missing this landmark in 2021, the Nordic nation achieved a GW industry in 2022 with 1.5 GW deployed and a 75 per cent yearly increase. Due to efficient and open laws for the building and grid ability to connect processes, subsidy-free solar PV parks still account for the majority of new construction, but there is also significant expansion occurring in the rooftop sector.

Greece was another nation whose GW market status was anticipated in 2021 but not attained until 2022. The majority of the small ground-mounted PV projects up to 500 kW that are eligible for a feed-in bonus till the end of 2022 are what have powered the 62 per cent growth of the Greek market to 1.4 GW. The utility-scale and domestic markets are both expanding concurrently, with the first being aided by an allocation scheme and streamlined authorization requirements and the second being prompted by the energy shortage. Greece fell two positions, nevertheless, and finished ninth in Europe in 2022.

In Sweden, which rounds out the top 10, subsidies and tax breaks continue to stimulate solar consumption. About half of the nation’s annual generation capacity came from household PV systems, whose need was fuelled by skyrocketing energy prices. The nation’s first GW level was attained with 1.1 GW and a startling 98 per cent rise.


A few variations can be seen when comparing the year prior to the trends in EU solar markets at the end of 2022. The majority of solar power facilities in the EU are still operated by Germany. By the end of 2022, aggregate installed capacity will be roughly 68.5 GW, with new yearly installations of 7.9 GW. Spain achieved a total of 26.4 GW capacity in 2022, becoming second largest market in the EU. It replaces Italy, which has held command of the second-largest solar market in the EU since 2011 for more than ten years. Italy deployed about 2.6 GW in 2022 which was a commendable effort but is insufficient to make up for the many years as it lagged behind in European solar production.

For the very first time, a nation with a solar fleet larger than 10 GW—Poland, which has 12.5 GW of potential ranked outside the top 5. The other top 10 nations—Belgium, 7.7 GW, Greece, 5.6 GW, Portugal, 4.2 GW, and Denmark, 3.9 GW—remain below this mark. Hungary, which has 3.9 GW as well, drops to outside the top 10 in 2022 due to a few MW difference.

This complete report can be accessed here