Analysts: Legal hurdles to stifle German clean energy momentum

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Reddit
Email
Germany has been slower than Southern European peers in embracing subsidy-free solar, with the first reported deal only signed this May (Credit: BayWa r.e.)

Germany risks missing its own renewable targets unless it acts to remove legislative obstacles, according to the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) and the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW).

The duo published estimates this week suggesting renewables covered 44% of Germany’s electricity use in H1 2019, a gain on the 39% recorded in H1 2018 and also an all-time record.

This article requires Premium SubscriptionBasic (FREE) Subscription

Unlock unlimited access for 12 whole months of distinctive global analysis

Photovoltaics International is now included.

  • Regular insight and analysis of the industry’s biggest developments
  • In-depth interviews with the industry’s leading figures
  • Unlimited digital access to the PV Tech Power journal catalogue
  • Unlimited digital access to the Photovoltaics International journal catalogue
  • Access to more than 1,000 technical papers
  • Discounts on Solar Media’s portfolio of events, in-person and virtual

Or continue reading this article for free

At 24 billion kWh, PV accounted for 8% of Germany's electricity use in H1 2019, according to ZSW and BDEW. It doubled offshore wind's 12 billion kWh but was doubled in turn by onshore wind's 55.8 billion kWh.

Stefan Kapferer, CEO of BDEW, said the “pleasing snapshot” should not mask the structural problems he claimed stand between Germany and its 65% renewable goal by 2030.

Berlin, Kapferer said, should clear hurdles including land and subsidy restrictions for PV and wind. Under business as usual the country would only reach a 54% renewable share by 2030, he added.

Europe’s PV giant looks beyond subsidies

As noted by Fraunhofer ISE earlier this year, Germany has for years restricted large-scale PV across arable land, pushing developments to brownfield sites or land by roads and railways.

Another potential obstacle is the prospect of a subsidy freeze, which under current law will kick in once today's 47GW-plus PV capacity hits 52GW. Local players recently told PV Tech the threshold could be crossed as early as H1 2020.

How Germany’s industry will fare if the subsidy cap is not reversed has become a talking point in recent months. The country has been slower than Southern European peers in embracing corporate renewable PPAs, despite analyst claims of vast, untapped potential.

In parallel to the debate, German PV has notched up bullish performance at auctions, pushing average prices to new lows. However, Wood Mackenzie has warned the country – as well as others in Europe – that cannibalisation could become a reality if costs continue to slide.

21 August 2024
5pm BST
FREE WEBINAR -This webinar will feature the perspectives and views of PV Tech’s Head of Research, Dr. Finlay Colville, on how the U.S. PV manufacturing landscape is changing today and when we might expect additions to encompass cells and wafers. This will be followed by a PV Tech special – a look inside one of the first new PV module fabs built in the U.S. this year; SEG Solar’s new site in Texas. Join Jim Wood, CEO at SEG Solar, as he walks around the new factory showing key features and explaining the rational for SEG Solar in making this investment into U.S. PV manufacturing in 2024.
8 October 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA
PV Tech has been running an annual PV CellTech Conference since 2016. PV CellTech USA, on 8-9 October 2024 is our second PV CellTech conference dedicated to the U.S. manufacturing sector. The event in 2023 was a sell out success and 2024 will once again gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing in the U.S. out to 2030 and beyond.
26 November 2024
Málaga, Spain
Understanding PV module supply to the European market in 2025. PV ModuleTech Europe 2024 is a two-day conference that tackles these challenges directly, with an agenda that addresses all aspects of module supplier selection; product availability, technology offerings, traceability of supply-chain, factory auditing, module testing and reliability, and company bankability.
11 March 2025
Frankfurt, Germany
The conference will gather the key stakeholders from PV manufacturing, equipment/materials, policy-making and strategy, capital equipment investment and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out PV manufacturing out to 2030 and beyond.
17 June 2025
Napa, USA
PV Tech has been running PV ModuleTech Conferences since 2017. PV ModuleTech USA, on 17-18 June 2025, will be our fourth PV ModulelTech conference dedicated to the U.S. utility scale solar sector. The event will gather the key stakeholders from solar developers, solar asset owners and investors, PV manufacturing, policy-making and and all interested downstream channels and third-party entities. The goal is simple: to map out the PV module supply channels to the U.S. out to 2026 and beyond.

Read Next

July 19, 2024
US solar manufacturer First Solar has started an investigation into several crystalline-silicon cell solar manufacturers for potential infringement of its patents.
July 19, 2024
The Energy Storage for Resilient Homes Act would allow residents of the two states to use funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to purchase residential BESS.
July 19, 2024
SunPower said the decision was not made "lightly" and will consider options to support its mutual customers and collective business pipeline.
July 19, 2024
Sungrow has signed an agreement with Hero Group's renewables arm Hero Future Energies to supply 850MW of inverters.
July 19, 2024
PV Lighthouse has secured AU$1.97 million from ARENA to aid the development of its digital twin software for utility-scale solar PV projects.
July 18, 2024
US solar manufacturer First Solar has opened its new research and development (R&D) centre in Ohio after almost two years of construction.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
July 31, 2024
1:00 PM (BST) / 2:00PM (CEST)
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Warsaw, Poland
Solar Media Events
September 24, 2024
Singapore, Asia
Solar Media Events
October 8, 2024
San Francisco Bay Area, USA