Press ReleasePublished May 18, 2022

CFE Statement on EU Solar Energy Strategy & Permitting Proposals

Carbon Free Europe
Press Team

Carbon-Free Europe: streamlining deployment of renewables will keep the EU on track to reach net-zero

BRUSSELS—Today, the European Commission published the EU Solar Energy Strategy as well as a legislative proposal amending the Renewable Energy Directive focusing on permitting together with its recommendations on permit granting and Power Purchase Agreements (PPA). Carbon-Free Europe (CFE) welcomes these important developments as the acceleration of the deployment of renewable energy sources in the EU is essential for the bloc to achieve energy independence and reach its climate objectives on schedule.

Carbon-Free Europe published a unique modelling analysis in March 2022, comprising five different pathways for the EU to reach its commitment of net-zero emissions by 2050. In line with the assumptions of the EU Solar Energy Strategy, CFE’s modelling shows that all pathways to net-zero require a significant increase in renewables deployment (including solar). For example, CFE’s scenarios show that in order to meet its climate goals, the EU will need to build on average between 27-79 GW of solar annually to reach at least 530 GW by 2030. Meeting this target will require overcoming immense infrastructure challenges, with each scenario identifying several constraints such as land use, siting, and permitting difficulties that already inhibit the development of key resources today. As a result, CFE published a land-use constraints blog based on its modelling data for wind and solar that discusses renewable siting constraints in more detail. These hurdles underscore the importance of the EU Solar Energy Strategy and are why introducing new permitting legislation is necessary to overcome current development barriers. This will ensure the use of solar and other low-carbon energy sources to help the EU maximise the next decade and develop credible trajectories to 2050.

Carbon-Free Europe encourages the EU to take more urgent and decisive steps to streamline the deployment of renewables in the EU and stands ready to engage in the process by providing research to inform the conversation and decision-making on the necessary technologies and policies for a net-zero future.

Carbon-Free Europe

Carbon-Free Europe works to galvanise support across Europe for an ambitious decarbonisation agenda that includes every carbon-free energy technology.

CFE conducts research to ensure policymakers and the climate community have access to comprehensive, robust analyses to make evidence-based decisions on net-zero strategies. As part of this, we assess the risks and tradeoffs of different net-zero pathways to advise governments on credible trajectories to 2050.

CFE advocates for technology-inclusive climate policies, which are essential for deep decarbonisation and to reduce Europe’s vulnerability to volatile energy prices. We also provide expert insights on contemporary issues, including the EU’s Green Deal, national energy and climate plans, and Europe’s energy security.

More information about CFE can be found on their website:

Notes to Editors

For further information, technical details on the modelling, or interviews with Lindsey Walter, please contact Kreab at + 44 20 7074 1858 or