More than 50% of Europe’s energy needs were met by renewables on 24 May 2020. The milestone was hit as the cost of wind and solar energy tumbles compared to energy from carbon-intensive sources such as coal-fired power plants. Some analysts argue that, as we emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, now is renewable energy’s chance to shine, particularly if support for clean energy is integrated into government’s economic recovery plans.

The EU wants to emerge from the crisis in a sustainable fashion. As part of the EU’s “green recovery plan”, almost 100 billion euros each year in grants and loan guarantees will be set aside for household renovations, including rooftop solar panels. Could this help turn European energy “consumers” into “prosumers”?

What do our readers think? We had a comment come in from HJo, who said: “On the supply side, electricity will be one day for free, there [are] so many ways [of] generating it… You just need the fantasy [of] us all living in houses full of solar panels. And the technology develops fast”. Is he right? Will all houses one day have solar panels?

To get a response, we put HJo’s comment to Paula Pinho from the European Commission, where she is Acting Director at Directorate A Energy Policy. What would she say?

NOTE: These interviews were carried out before the COVID-19 pandemic.

For another perspective, we also spoke to Erkki Maillard, Senior Vice-President for European and International Affairs at the Électricité de France (EDF) Group, a French electric utility company and one of the largest producers of electricity in the world. How would he respond to HJo’s comment?

Should all houses have solar panels? Could the EU and national governments offer grants and loan guarantees to install rooftop solar panelling across Europe? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

IMAGE CREDITS: BigStock – (c) elenathewise

12 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar

    Yes, every house in the world. Sun power is for free and governments should support it by grants.

  2. avatar

    Right now the main problem of these technologies it’s the storage of the energy. Without any doubt using suns energy would lead to a cleaner environment, but households consume more during the night, during rainy periods or cold seasons when people tend to stay indoor and use more heat and household appliances. Therefore I think that EU energy department should focus more on the encouragement of development of new better storage and energy transport technologies first. Not to forget about the eventual recycling of these solar panels and its costs.

  3. avatar

    In Portugal they offer but you have a limit that you can produce for your own consumption. Like always, if you go legal you can save enough just to pay equipment and some peanuts….

  4. avatar

    Cost to include in new build is insignificant compared to retro fitting…would be best to include panels and battery storage.

  5. avatar

    Definitely yes. It is cost effective in any case, the safest, environment friendly etc. It is suspisious the promotion of lethal nuclear, ugly wind or destructive oil power

  6. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    “Should”? Serious? OMG.

    Sorry, but why assume one would need EU’s Paula Pinho, the EDF’s V-President Erkki Maillard or the DE’s advice to decide if or when to invest in either a:
    • solar off-grid,
    • solar grid-tied
    • or a solar hybrid system for private or commercial use?

    Surely, any homeowner is smart enough to decide on his own! If not, then probably that person doesn’t own a roof/house & needn’t invest in solar!

    Nobody would ever ask an “EU politician”, the DE or the Vice President from the Daimler AG, what model car, truck, plant, petrol, diesel, gas, or electric driven vehicle one should buy & when. Please tell- would anyone ask?
    Solar has become a commodity or accessory like a car etc.

    News: Nowadays, one goes online, searches & request a quote for a solar installation- by giving them your requirements. That’s how simple, quick & easy it’s done nowadays! A hint:

  7. avatar

    I think on commercial area maybe but certainly not in city centers or country side..

    • avatar

      sure the rain is leaking better on these than most surfaces

  8. avatar

    no becausee no i want the earth to die because why not

  9. avatar

    You need to convince my landlord. What about solar panels on rental properties? I will probably never be able to afford my own house.

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