Shining a light on the barriers to solar energy rollout

News Article

Eurelectric supports the ambition of the EU strategy for solar energy to develop a strong value chain and increase the contribution of solar energy to the 2030 targets. Yet, multiple barriers delay the deployment of solar energy projects. How we address these is outlined in our public consultation on the solar strategy. Here’s a flavour of what we said:

Giving preference to integrated projects

Policiesfrom green infrastructure to agriculture and finance should increase support to integrated renewable energy projects. Projects placing climate change but also biodiversity, society, and quality of life at their heart. Some examples? Projects combining solar with e-mobility or solar with agriculture should be prioritised.

The benefit of such projects is twofold: while getting the EU further on its decarbonisation agenda, they also tick the biodiversity-regeneration box. This is a chance to kill two birds with one stone. Such projects must therefore benefit from tax reductions/ exemptions, public tendering and simplified permitting.

Permitting, permitting… and upfront costs

Even when enshrined in law, permitting deadlines are not respected. How can this be tackled? The use of electronic platforms which would centralise procedures, reduce lengthy and unnecessary communication delays and increase efficiency.

Going forward, it is essential to tackle the uncertainty around regulatory rules and future support schemes. These constitute the most significant barriers to new utility grid solar energy projects. 

For individual customers, the price is also an obstacle. Upfront investment costs are a barrier and tenants don’t have a free hand. The adoption of a framework to decide about solar investment in joint-ownership buildings must become a priority.