In the skies, powerful storms can damage and destroy satellites, putting at risk aeroplanes that rely on air-to-ground communications.
Astronauts working in the vacuum of space or exploring the Moon and Mars on future missions would be at risk of increased radiation exposure.
ESA said: “In Europe’s economy today, numerous sectors can be affected by space weather.
“These range from space-based telecommunications, broadcasting, weather services and navigation, through to power distribution and terrestrial communications, especially at northern latitudes.
“One significant influence of solar activity is seen in disturbances in satellite navigation services, like Galileo, due to space weather effects on the upper atmosphere.