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Annual Review of the energy sector 2022

The following article, compiled with the help of e-shape’s EO experts in the energy sector, is the third in a series of articles which investigate the significant developments and challenges in the e-shape sectors.  

Sector highlights in 2022:

As the European Union struggles with the dual challenges of energy security concerns and high energy prices in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, domestic energy production and efficiency gains have become increasingly important in 2022.  

Key trends include: 

  • Climate change, geopolitical developments, and ever-increasing energy demand push governments to further accelerate the green energy transition. 
  • Environment, Social and Governance considerations drive need for identification of go-to-areas (land use) for massive new wind and solar energy sites as well as the reduction of unnecessary emissions of methane, supported by upcoming legislation forcing energy companies to reduce their emissions below a certain threshold. 
  • Grid balancing is becoming a major issue as intermittent renewable technologies (wind, solar) increases variability and limited predictability of the grid. 

Therefore, a series of initiatives were proposed this year, and the targets for clean energy have been increased to strengthen Europe’s energy market and stabilize energy prices. For instance, the EU solar energy strategy proposed under the REPowerEU plan aims to make solar energy a cornerstone of the EU energy system. Boosting renewable energy is also a pivotal part of the European Green Deal in the context of the green transition towards climate neutrality. With the help of EO techniques and satellite image data, efficient and accurate solutions are generated in areas such as calculating the solar potential and radiation of a region, finding out the power generation from each rooftop and others. 

Lionel Menard (Showcase 3 Pilot 2) underlined the energy crisis makes the EU Solar Strategy even more paramount, and the energy transition becomes critical for society. He added that another highlight in the sector was the Rooftop Solar Initiative approved by the European Commission, which promotes the installation of rooftop solar panels on every public building by 2025 but also loosens environmental policy so that renewable energy plants can be approved faster. 

What should be done in the next five years to respond to the sectorial challenges?

Lionel Menard mentioned that in order to overcome the current energy crisis and sector-related challenges with the help of EO, the EU needs to have a world-class champion infrastructure to advertise, provide, host or connect to the massive ever-coming archive of EO data. 


related e-shape Pilots: 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4