4Q 2022

Analyst Insight: Community Solar in Europe

Global Solar Energy Insights

As the energy crisis has plunged Europe into a search for new, innovative power sources, falling deployment costs have led solar to quickly become one of the most viable options for filling the natural gas supply gap and lowering generation costs. Paired with energy storage, solar can provide peak shaving services to reduce overall power generation demands and the use of carbon-heavy peaker plants. European cities and towns are increasingly participating in community energy generation schemes where installation and maintenance costs are shared to improve overall reliability and drive down expenses associated with natural gas generation. Across the European continent, rooftops alone have the potential to deliver up to about 25% of current electricity production, with installation often taking less than a day. As natural gas prices remain elevated and electrical loads continue to rise, community solar can provide an avenue to rapidly increase deployments and an alternative option for households vulnerable to energy poverty.

Urban and rural areas previously reliant on intermittent fossil fuel generation are expected to leverage solar PV en masse. Rooftop requirements will contribute greatly to capacity expansion, with the European Commission mandating installation on new public and commercial structures starting in 2027. The adoption of projects in Europe is also providing economic benefits such as high skilled manufacturing, installation, and maintenance jobs. Overall, the expansion of community solar in Europe is an important step toward increasing access to renewable energy and reducing reliance on fossil fuels to meet national and EU decarbonization goals.

This Guidehouse Insights report presents a forecast of annual capacity additions, cumulative capacity, and revenue for the global solar PV market through 2031. It covers both the distributed and utility-scale solar PV markets. Distributed solar PV is segmented by residential, commercial, and industrial applications. The report also examines key trends affecting community solar PV projects across Europe and selected countries that influence growth.

Pages 15
Tables | Charts | Figures 5
  • How is the solar PV market projected to grow over the next decade?
  • What is the current landscape of the solar PV and community solar market in Europe?
  • How has the war in Ukraine impacted the Western European solar market?
  • How can different business models offer solutions for numerous categories of solar users?
  • What will the utility-scale and residential solar PV markets look like in the next year?
  • Solar panel producers
  • Investors
  • Infrastructure developers
  • Solar farm developers
  • Governments
  • Solar companies
  • Utility providers
  • Community solar operators



Executive Summary

Market Inflection Trends

Market Drivers and Barriers; Market Forecast

Business Models for Small-Scale Solar, Storage, and Demand Response

Key Highlights: European Distributed Solar Market

Western Europe and the War in Ukraine

Eastern European Case Study

Key Recommendations and Conclusions

Acronyms and Abbreviations

Additional Resources


  • Solar PV Deployment Industry Growth Potential, World Markets: 2022-2031
  • Market Drivers and Barriers: Impact over the Next 10 Years
  • Annual Solar Capacity Additions by Segment, World Markets: 2022-2031
  • Total Annual Solar Capacity Additions by Region, World Markets: 2022-2031
  • Annual Solar Capacity Additions by Segment, Poland: 2022-2031
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