September 21, 2023
We unveil the top five pre-construction solar projects set to reshape Europe's energy landscape.
Solar energy has never been cheaper or more reliable. According to a report from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), renewable energy accounted for 40% of the world's installed power capacity in 2022.
This set a new record, as 295 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy sources were added, accounting for 83% of the world's power growth. Solar photovoltaic (PV) alone contributed to almost two-thirds of these new additions, reaching an astounding 192 GW.
Despite higher investment costs due to increased commodity prices, utility-scale solar remains the most economic choice for new power generation in most countries around the world. The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts a renewable capacity expansion over the next five years that surpasses previous expectations by a substantial margin. Their primary projection is for renewables to grow by nearly 2,400GW between 2022 and 2027 - equivalent to all of China's current installed power capacity.
The projections suggest that electricity generation from wind and solar will more than double, accounting for nearly 20% of global electricity generation by 2027. The IEA predicts that by 2027, the installed capacity of solar PV will surpass that of natural gas and coal.
Solar Power Europe's 2023 High Scenario paints a promising picture, with 402 GW of new solar capacity expected to be added this year, and 800 GW on the horizon by 2027.
Globally, China, the United States, India, and Brazil are leading the way in the construction of utility-scale solar projects.
In Europe, Spain ranks fifth globally with 8.4 GW of newly installed capacity in 2022. Germany follows closely as the second European market in this ranking, with a 23% increase in grid-connected solar capacity from 6 GW in 2021 to 7.4 GW in 2022.
Poland, ranked eighth, continues its upward trajectory, with 4.5 GW of solar capacity installed in 2022, representing a 20% growth compared to the previous year.
The Netherlands, a key player in the European solar industry for several years, made its debut in the global top 10 list in 2022 at ninth place, with 4.1 GW of installations - an impressive 13% year-on-year growth.
In this blog post, we explore the Global Energy Monitor's solar energy tracker and reveal the top five pre-construction solar projects that promise to reshape Europe's energy landscape in the next few years.
Spain has a thriving solar sector, with numerous large solar projects in different stages of development. The permitting stage of the Zaragoza and Teruel greenfield project is currently underway, and the developers anticipate commissioning in 2024. Bruc Iberia Energy Investment Partners owns this project. With a single-phase development plan and a target nameplate capacity of 2580 MWp/dc, this solar farm will be among the largest in Europe.
Screenshot from Glint Solar software: Zaragoza and Teruel solar farm, Spain. Coordinates of the project site: 41.6537, -0.8888.
Spanish renewable energy company Iberdrola has announced the 1200 MW Fernando Pessoa solar farm project in Portugal, which will be operational in 2025. The construction of this project will provide clean, cheap, and locally produced energy, enough to meet the annual needs of around 430,000 households, a population equivalent to almost twice the size of the city of Porto.
Iberdrola SA will own the solar farm located in Santiago do Cacém, Sines, Portugal. The project considers biodiversity by utilizing land currently used by local shepherds for sheep farming and introducing beehives to enhance ecosystem stability.
Screenshot from Glint Solar software: Fernando Pessoa solar farm, Portugal. Coordinates of the project site: 37.9851, -8.7751.
Rezolv Energy is developing the Arad County solar farm, situated in the north-west region of Arad County, near the 400 kV transmission ring, and in close proximity to interconnection points with Hungary. The project is nearing completion in its development stages, with confirmed capacity for grid access, and construction is set to commence in 2023.
The solar farm, located on a large flat site, will have a nameplate capacity of 1044 MW. The project is also incorporating symbiotic agricultural activities including grazing for sheep.
Screenshot from Glint Solar software: Arad County solar farm, Romania. Coordinates of the project site: 46.1835, 21.3156.
Give it up again for Spain! Another large-scale solar project in Spain is the Erasmo solar farm, located in Saceruela, Ciudad Real. COFRA Group will own the solar farm with a nameplate capacity of 1000 MW. The project is currently in the pre-construction phase, and construction is anticipated to conclude by 2024.
Screenshot from Glint Solar software: Erasmo solar farm, Spain. Coordinates of the project site: 38.9434, -4.6083.
The Guadalupe solar farm is located in Fuente de Cantos, Badajoz, Spain. The project is still in the pre-construction phase. The solar farm will have a nameplate capacity of 1000 MW and will be owned by Brookfield Renewable Partners and KKR.
Screenshot from Glint Solar software: Erasmo solar farm, Spain. Coordinates of the project site: 38.2461, -6.3074.
According to SolarPower Europe's Global Market Outlook 2021 - 2025 report, Europe is set to experience a major surge in solar capacity between now and 2025. A staggering 162 GW of additional solar capacity is expected to be installed, more than doubling Europe's current solar capacity.
Europe plays a significant role in the global solar energy pipeline, which currently stands at over 1.2TW of capacity.
With impressive solar farms already in operation and ambitious projects in development, Europe is emerging as a key player in the field of solar energy.
Iberdrola owns two of the largest solar farms in Europe. The Francisco Pizarro plant, located in Extremadura, Spain, has a capacity of 590 MW, with more than 1.49 million solar panels spread over 1,300 hectares. It was commissioned in August 2022 and will be able to power 375,000 homes while offsetting 245,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
The Núñez de Balboa solar plant in Usagre, Spain, has a capacity of 500 MW and has been operational since April 2020. It provides clean energy for 250,000 homes and reduces CO2 emissions by 215,000 tonnes per year.
With more large-scale solar installations on the horizon, the future of renewable energy in Europe is looking bright. If you want to learn more about the impressive solar installations already in place or more exciting upcoming projects, check out our latest blog post. By the end, we hope you'll share our enthusiasm for the vast potential of solar power in Europe and beyond!
Glint Solar is a software tool that enables solar developers across the world to optimize their solar pipeline growth and accelerate the initial phases of their projects. With data packages covering numerous European countries, including Spain, Italy, Germany, Romania, and more, Glint Solar provides essential insights for informed decision-making.
By using Glint Solar, solar developers can streamline their project development by identifying the suitable locations for their solar projects. Explore the potential and functionality of our software for your country of interest. Sign up for a free demo today to learn how Glint Solar’s software can help you!
In 2023, solar energy stands as a reliable global power player. Renewable energy, especially solar, exceeded expectations in 2022, accounting for 40% of the world's power capacity with 192 GW. Despite challenges like rising commodity prices, solar PV remains economically attractive, with the IEA projecting a massive 2,400 GW growth by 2027. Europe, contributing over 1.2 TW to the global solar pipeline, is at the forefront of this sustainable energy revolution. With existing solar farms and ambitious projects, the future looks brighter as we harness the sun's energy for a cleaner world.
The top five solar projects in the pre-construction phase in Europe in 2023 are:
The global demand for renewable energy sources, particularly in Europe, drives the continuous expansion of the solar energy pipeline. In the coming years, we can expect to see a significant increase in the number of solar projects being initiated to meet growing demand and further strengthen the renewable energy infrastructure.