European countries added around 8GW of solar power to the grid last year.
That’s an increase from 6.95GW of new grid-connected capacity in 2014 – a 15% growth year-on-year, according to new figures from SolarPower Europe.
It follows a decline from 2011 for three consecutive years, it adds.
CEO James Watson said most of the growth came from a “strong UK market” while demand for solar in other countries remained flat.
However the solar market in the UK is expected to see a tough year following the government’s controversial decision to reduce support across the sector.
Mr Watson added: “Solar needs clear signals from policymakers in Europe to be able to contribute to achieving the climate goals greed in Paris. With solar being competitive for residential and commercial applications in most European countries today, investors need a secure political framework for generation, self-consumption and storage of solar energy.”
Last year investments in the European offshore wind industry doubled to a record €13.3 billion (£10bn).