February 9 (SeeNews) - The European solar market returned to growth in 2015 with around 8 GW of solar power systems connected to the grid, according to initial estimates by SolarPower Europe.
This marks an increase of 15% compared to 2014 when 6.95 GW of solar capacity was grid connected in European countries.
Demand for solar installations was on the slide for three years after peaking in 2011. Last year's growth, however, was due to strong installations in the UK, while the market in most other countries was flat or declined, according to the announcement.
The association said that in 2015 annual grid-connected solar worldwide rose by over 25% year-on-year to more than 50 GW.
SolarPower Europe chief executive James Watson called for clear signals from European policy makers for solar to be able to contribute to the Paris climate goals. "With solar being competitive for residential and commercial applications in most European countries today, investors need a secure political framework for generation, self-consumption and storage of solar energy," Watson said.
SolarPower Europe, the new name for the European Photovoltaic Industry Association (EPIA), will release final figures for 2015 in March. Its analysis is based on grid connected solar systems rather than product shipments or installations.