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The European Commission increased its solar power capacity target to nearly 600 GW by 2030 as part of its energy policy response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with an interim target of 320 GW by 2025 that will almost double solar capacity in the bloc compared to 2020.

The EU Solar Energy Strategy, released May 18, forms part of REPowerEU, the legislative package that aims to support the bloc's transition away from Russian gas imports by 2027, partly by installing more green power.

The new solar target represents a 41% increase in ambitions compared to 420 GW under the EU's "Fit for 55" climate plan, trade group SolarPower Europe said.

Frontloading additional solar capacities will displace 9 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually by 2027, the commission said.

Rooftop solar will contribute much of the added capacity, with the commission proposing a legal obligation for commercial and public buildings to add solar panels; the deadlines would be 2026 for new structures and 2027 for existing ones. New residential buildings would be required to have solar panels by 2029.

[Camille Naschert]

More: Solar to become EU's largest power source by 2030 under new strategy

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