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Over 5GW! Germany sets record for photovoltaic additions from January to April

published: 2024-06-26 18:04

Germany installed more than 5GW of new PV capacity in the first four months of this year, a record for the same period and a 35% increase over the first four months of 2023, according to industry association Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft (BSW Solar).

Much of this growth has been driven by the commercial and industrial sector, with BSW Solar reporting an 81% increase in new PV capacity installed in the commercial and industrial rooftop sector between the first four months of 2023 and the first four months of 2024. In comparison, new installed capacity at vacant land plants increased by 74% during the same period.

BSW Solar said the recent Solarpaket reforms to the German solar industry have contributed to this growth, with the latest legislation passed earlier this year increasing the feed-in tariff for commercial PV rooftop systems.

Germany hopes to meet a quarter of its total energy needs with PV by 2030. These reforms are designed to make solar projects more commercially viable, especially in the distributed solar sector, and will be a major contributing factor.

Carsten Körnig, Executive Director of BSW Solar, said, "After a veritable solar boom in the German household sector, more and more commercial rooftops and low-production open spaces are now also being electrified with solar technology."

"Initiatives launched by the German Federal Parliament to reduce bureaucracy mean that the real estate industry can also increasingly build larger solar systems, thereby reducing tenants' electricity bills and contributing to climate protection."

According to YouGov, there is growing interest in the distributed solar sector in Germany. 56% of companies and more than 60% of private homeowners are interested in investing in solar electric systems, according to BSW. This growing interest coincides with this year's Intersolar Europe trade show in Munich, where industry leaders showcased a range of new products and services last week.

Upstream financing issues

The growth rate of newly installed PV systems is expected to reach double digits by the end of this year.

While BSW Solar is optimistic about the future of solar deployment in Germany, questions remain about the upstream sector of the German solar industry. Specifically, leading research institute Fraunhofer ISE has criticized the German government's cutbacks in funding for energy research, suggesting that this could cause a decline of up to 30% in funding for new energy projects.

Hans-Martin Henning, Chairman of the Fraunhofer ISE Energy Technology and Climate Protection Group and Director of the Fraunhofer ISE Institute for Solar Energy Systems, said, "Funding cuts will undermine key innovations that Germany desperately needs. Germany desperately needs these innovations to meet its climate goals and to maintain and expand Germany's leadership in important future technologies."

"At the same time, the risk of further foreign dependence in these technology areas is growing."

Earlier this year, as the global solar industry moved toward larger wafers, Fraunhofer ISE developed a TOPCon solar cell with a power conversion efficiency of 24 percent, which consists of large-area M10 wafers.

According to the latest draft of Germany's National Energy and Climate Plan, the German government hopes to commission 215GW of installed photovoltaic capacity by the end of this decade, and as Germany looks to achieve Europe's most ambitious solar deployment targets, such innovations are likely to become a necessary part of Germany's solar industry.

Source: PV-Tech

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