Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February, and Moscow’s subsequent throttling of natural gas supplies to Europe, threw global energy markets into disarray.

Europe panicked as it confronted the ugly reality of its fragile energy security. It scrambled to buy liquified natural gas (LNG) from the US, and loaded up on heat pumps from China. And, it turns out, Europe also stockpiled Chinese solar panels.

Some €7 billion ($7.8 billion) worth of solar panels—or 40 gigawatts direct current (GWdc) of capacity—are currently sitting unused in European warehouses, according to new research by Rystad Energy, a Norway-headquartered consultancy. And the stockpile is forecast to grow even larger this year, hitting 100 GWdc in storage by the end of 2023.

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