Solar Panels Remain Stuck In Warehouses As European Energy Crisis Darkens

Jack McEvoy 

Large quantities of unused solar panels are stuck in European warehouses because there aren’t enough engineers to install them amid the continent’s severe energy shortages, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Heavy household and business demand for rooftop solar panels are driving the engineer shortages as high natural gas prices are forcing Europeans to seek alternative sources of electricity, according to Bloomberg. Natural gas, which accounted for 24% of the European Union (EU) energy supply in 2020, is currently in short supply due to Russian supply cuts that are causing household electricity prices to spike, according to Eurostat.

The EU launched a solar energy initiative in May to rapidly push citizens and businesses to install solar panels as part of the EU Green Deal which seeks to reduce emissions by at least 55% by 2030, according to the European Commission. Roughly 5.2% of the EU’s total electricity production came from solar energy in 2020, according to Eurostat.

Although Europe could install a record number of solar panels which are mainly imported from China, the installation process is labor-intensive and requires training, exacerbating installation delays and causing tens of thousands of imported solar panels to stack up in warehouses, according to Bloomberg. Meanwhile, European manufacturers and small businesses are shutting down operations as they cannot afford to keep up with soaring energy costs, according to The Associated Press.

China sold $14.2 billion worth of solar panels to Europe from January to July which was enough to power more than 16 million German households, the outlet reported. However, in September the EU proposed a ban on Chinese products coming from Xinjiang as they suspect that the Chinese Communist Party is forcing Uyghur Muslims to manufacture products in the region.

Chip shortages and customs delays are also slowing the proliferation of solar panels in Europe, according to Bloomberg.

The European Commission did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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