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And they could break more next year as their rollout intensifies with the new facilities being planned. This year, new solar production peaks were recorded across Europe having unusually high temperatures throughout the summer.

In the United Kingdom, solar power broke the weekly production record between June 21 and 28, producing 533 gigawatt hours of energy. The increase in production meant that solar energy will replace gas as the country’s primary source of energys, according to the European body of the photovoltaic industry SolarPower Europe.

In July, solar energy also hit a new record in Germany, with 6.17 terawatt hours of production, according to SolarPower Europe. Further north, Denmark recorded 361 hours of sunshine in May. This increased solar energy production by 33%, breaking previous records.

And in the Netherlands, a sunny July generated 75% more solar energy than the same month last year. “All over Europe, records have arrived“Said James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe, in a Press release.

One of the side effects of this year’s heat wave was a record amount of solar power generation“, said. “Country after country, solar power has set new generation records“.

SolarPower Europe’s policy director Aurélie Beauvais said large-scale solar power is crippling thermal power plants.

In France and Germany, coal and nuclear power plants had to be shut down because they could no longer use the huge volumes of water needed to cool their plants, which caused an intermittent supply.“, said.

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Solar energy has kept European electricity grids stable as the production of these thermal power plants failed, he said.

Although the main reason for the solar record in Europe this summer is due to excessively hot and dry weather, which in turn is linked to global warming, it is also true that Europe now has more solar capacity than ever.

The European solar market grew by 28.4% in 2017, according to data from SolarPower Europe. This brought the total installed capacity to 107 gigawatts.

Capacity growth alone may have been the cause of most of the records set this summer, said Josefin Berg, director of research and analysis for solar and energy storage at IHS Markit. “If you install more, you get more production, right?“.

In addition, hot weather harms photovoltaic performance instead of improving it, he said. At the height of the July heatwave, even parts of the Arctic Circle saw temperatures rise above 30 ° C.

In practice, Kristina Thoring, Communications Director of SolarPower Europe, said: “In the Netherlands, it was the increase in generating capacity, combined with remarkably sunny weather, that led to a new solar record.“.

Whatever the cause, it looks like next summer could bring new solar records for all of Europe.

With costs reaching an all-time high of € 43.30 ($ 50.35) per megawatt hour in the last German solar tender, in December 2017, and the European Commission ending five years of trade barriers in panels In Asia solar industry is poised for further growth.

Europe has been in a transition phase for two yearsThoring said. “We are entering the next phase of growth as the European Union has passed a series of positive laws that will mean greater deployment of solar energy“.”The growth in installed capacity is expected to translate into new solar energy production records across Europe.

Germany alone will add more than 2 gigawatts of capacity this year. French installations should also cross the gigawatt barrier this year. The total solar power installed in Europe could reach 116 gigawatts this year and 129 gigawatts in 2019.

Germany will exceed 45 gigawatts of solar power this year, and next year Italy and France will hit 20 gigawatts and 10 gigawatts respectively.