Solar power is booming across Europe, from Germany to Sweden, and even from Belgium to Spain.
But it’s a tiny part of the overall global power grid that powers our homes and businesses, from our streets to our power stations.
So the big question is: Can Europe catch up?
The answer is, no, not by a long shot.
Solar power is becoming increasingly important for all of Europe, but only a handful of nations, mainly the U.K., Germany and France, have been seriously considering installing the technology in the last decade.
Solar power has grown at about three-fold in Europe in the past decade.
In Germany, solar panels are the new normal.
In the past few years, the country has installed a total of more than 10 gigawatts (GW) of solar power.
That’s enough to power every home in the country for a year.
In France, solar installations are also rising steadily.
But the United Kingdom, Germany and Spain are still struggling to keep up with the growth of solar.
The United Kingdom and Germany still don’t have much solar power in the grid.
Solar installations in the U.
“Solar is a technology, and it’s growing,” said Joerg Mäkelmann, the head of energy at RGS Energy, a renewable energy company.
“But it has its challenges.
Its biggest challenge is that it is not as cost-competitive as wind, which has a much lower cost per megawatt-hour.”
Solar power plants are also expensive, at least in the United States.
Solar panels typically cost more than $1,000 per watt, compared with about $600 per watt for wind turbines.
Solar electricity is not cheap in the EU, which is the largest market for solar energy in the world.
The solar energy industry is also growing in the rest of Europe.
Solar panel installations in Belgium are up 10% in the first three months of this year.
In Italy, solar power has exploded, with the first solar panels installed in Rome in the fall of 2015.
In the U., Germany, Spain and Sweden, the industry is growing rapidly, but the U, which still doesn’t have the biggest solar energy market, is still behind.
Solar energy is still more expensive in the Netherlands than in most other European nations.
Solar costs about one-third as much as wind power.
In Germany, about 50% of all electricity produced is used to generate solar power, compared to about 5% in Sweden.
But in the end, solar energy has become a much cheaper option.
Last year, the average price of solar energy was about $0.17 per kilowatt-hours, which was a 30% discount to wind energy, according to SolarWorld, an industry group.
Solar panels are also cheaper to install than wind turbines in some countries, including Germany and Sweden.
In Belgium, solar panel prices are about half as high as those of wind power, and about 15% less than those of solar, according the Solar Energy Research Institute.
Solar electricity in the European Union, meanwhile, has grown from $5.2 billion in 2014 to $8.7 billion in 2017.
But it’s still a relatively small market.
The U.S. installed just 13 GW of solar in 2017, and the U:S.
alone has more than 6 GW of installed solar power capacity.
In recent years, European solar companies have started to diversify.
SolarWorld recently acquired solar utility A.P.M. in Germany.
In March, A.A.M., which is part of a solar power network, said it had completed a deal to buy a power distribution company, Solar Energia, which also has solar power projects.
Solar Energy is the same company that acquired the French utility EDF for $9 billion last year.
Other solar companies, like German power company Solarkraft, also are getting into the solar energy business.
Solarkcraft, which in the early 2000s was part of solar pioneer SolarWorld (now called SolarWorld), is now part of another solar company, solar giant SolarCity.
The European solar industry is a $7.6 trillion market that generates more than 40% of the world’s electricity.
But its growth is slow, as European consumers are wary of installing solar panels.
Solar industry experts say it is still too early to say whether European solar energy will replace wind power or whether it will take its place.
“The question is whether the European solar market will become a new market for wind power,” said Michael D’Amore, the managing director of RGS Energies, the European renewable energy group.
“The answer to that is still open to question.”
SolarWorld says it plans to expand its solar power footprint to more than 20 countries by 2020, which would add about 6 GW to its total installed capacity.