The European Commission has launched a public consultation on solar energy in the EU, as part of the preparation of a new strategy on solar energy, due for publication later this year. In the context of the Commission’s proposal to double the share of renewables to 40% by 2030 (in the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive presented in July 2021), the consultation looks at how best to achieve the required increase in solar energy capacity. It underlines that the cost-efficient development of this technology within a more integrated energy system cannot be sufficiently achieved by EU countries alone, and seeks to clarify what measures are needed.
The consultation is seeking input on the main bottlenecks and barriers to investment under existing rules. Here are some of the 26 questions launched by the EC:
- What are the key barriers that delay or prevent new utility grid solar energy projects?
- What are the main factors that negatively affect the business case of new utility grid solar energy projects?
- Which are the main factors that negatively affect the deployment of distributed, small-scale solar production installations in single-unit (SUB) or multi-unit buildings (MUB)?
- How likely it is that the absence of net-metering / net-billing schemes constitutes a lack of incentives for distributed, small-scale installations?
- What are the factors preventing further deployment of solar thermal installations in the EU?
The EC looks at policy measures from three different objectives
- accelerating deployment through demand-side measures to deliver on the 2030 renewable targets
- ensuring secure supplies of affordable and sustainable solar energy products through supply-side measures, including high sustainability standards and global photovoltaic supply chain resilience
- maximizing the socio-economic benefits, potential and value of solar energy for wider society.
In line with EU better regulation principles, the consultation will run 12 weeks until 12 April 2022. The consultation is available in all 24 EU languages.