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Estimates from SolarPower Europe show that Europe installed about 8.6 GW of solar power systems in 2017, a 28% increase over systems installed in 2016. SolarPower Europe said that EU member states installed about 6 GW in 2016, a 6% year-over-year increase.

“Solar in Europe is growing, this is good news for the energy transition; now we need the right policies in place to make sure the EU can fully benefit from our clean energy technology,” James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe, said. According to SolarPower Europe’s estimate for solar installations, the largest European solar market in 2017 was Turkey, which gridconnected 1.79 GW in 2016, followed by Germany at 1.75 GW.

SolarPower Europe said that final figures could place Germany in the first place. The UK, which dropped its solar incentive programmes, lost its position as the leading European solar market. SolarPower Europe said that new installations dropped by 54% to around 912 MW in the UK, from 1.97 GW in 2016.

“We are expecting strong growth in the coming years as several EU member states are choosing solar to meet their national binding 2020 renewables targets,” Michael Schmela, executive advisor and head of market intelligence, SolarPower Europe, said. “This makes perfect sense as solar is the most popular energy source among EU citizens, due to its low-cost, versatility and reliability.”