Germany’s Federal Network Agency registers 54GW of solar PV

Image: BSW

Germany’s solar developers nearly installed 5GW of new PV capacity this year, after a further 525MW added in December alone.

According to Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagetur), the country managed to install 525MW of solar PV capacity during December 2020, up significantly from the 339.4MW deployed in December 2019. The figures show that the country’s solar market has already rebounded from COVID-19 related supply chain disruptions and project delays, with the figure for last December also 45MW higher than the new capacity installed in November.

German developers installed 4.88GW of solar PV last year, representing an increase of nearly 1GW on 2019. Developers made great strides in the country last year, with utility EnBW constructing what is believed to be Germany’s largest solar farm to-date, a 187.5MW park near Berlin. Supplier Sungrow also announced it would work with developer Enerparc as the inverter supplier for a 90 MW project in Gaarz, north-eastern Germany, due to come online later this year.

The country could see a rapid acceleration in deployment this year after the government formally removed its contentious 52GW solar subsidy cap. Today, Germany is home to a total of 53.6GW of solar capacity, according to the Federal Network Agency, and the country’s two million solar power plants generated just over 10% of the country’s electricity supply last year.

Around 184,000 new solar plants were installed in Germany last year, increasing the country’s PV capacity by 27.6%. This, according to trade body Federal Association of Solar Industries (BSW), was driven by “particularly strong” demand in the residential space.

Residential solar led much of the growth last year, according to the agency, installations with a power limit of 10 kWp increased their share of the market from 15% to 23%. Around 151,700 smaller PV systems were installed last year with a combined capacity of 1,131MW.

On the other hand, commercial installations showed “less strong growth” last year, as a result of COVID-19 disruption and “significantly lower market premiums”, the trade body said. Developers installed 2,887MW of new PV capacity last year between 10 and 750kWp, a rise of 6% compared to 2019.

Carsten Körnig, the chief executive of BSW, said the rate of growth is promising, but warned it is still “too slow” to contribute to Germany’s climate change mitigation targets.

 “We remain too slow to immunise against climate change,” Körnig said. “Five gigawatts of PV construction is five gigawatts a year too little.”

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