Annual global solar installations grew by around 50% in 2016, according to new figures released today.

The European solar sector association SolarPower Europe announced the all-time record number of 76.2 GW for 2016 at its annual flagship event – the SolarPower Summit – being held in Brussels this week.

With European demand down by over 21% to 6.7 GW last year though, the trade organisation wants stakeholders across the continent to redouble their efforts to capitalise on the opportunities offered by solar energy.

James Watson, CEO of Solar Power Europe, said: “Solar is one of the lowest-cost power generation sources today, and this is true for Europe. The European Union is not harvesting the sun as much it could and should – it’s time to change that.”

“The European Commission’s proposed Clean Energy Package is a good starting point. If it will result in market rules that support the energy transition and enable a flexible system that puts prosumers at its core, then we have the grounds for making solar great again,” added Alexandre Roesch, Policy Director at SolarPower Europe.

Corporations were praised for showing increasing commitment towards renewable energy.

Bruce Douglas, COO of Solar Power Europe said, “In our new corporate sourcing campaign we see the commitment of a quickly growing number of corporations to switch to 100% renewables. We believe that a goal of at least 35% renewables by 2030 is adequate for the EU, rather than the 27% proposed.”