Germany’s planned solar auctions expansion ‘not sufficient’, trade bodies say

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The 187MW Weesow-Willmersdorf solar project was connected to the grid last year. Image: Sungrow.

Germany’s renewable energy sector has said new government plans to more than triple the PV capacity included in next year’s auctions do not go far enough in supporting long-term solar deployment.

The coalition government last week agreed to increase the 2022 PV tender volumes from 1.9GW to 6GW, while capacity for onshore wind will go up from 2.9GW to 4GW.

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With the one-off auctions set to take place after Germany’s general election in September 2021, German solar industry association BSW said the coalition’s announcement “must be understood as a mere electoral manoeuvre”.

“You can’t put out a devastating forest fire with a fire extinguisher, and you can’t prevent climate collapse with four gigawatts more photovoltaics,” said Carsten Körnig, BSW managing director.

As the European Union (EU) raises its 2030 emissions reduction target to 55%, BSW said it will now be necessary to quadruple Germany’s installed PV capacity to more than 200GW by the end of the decade, increasing annual deployment figures from the current 5GW level to 15GW.

While the German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) welcomed the coalition government’s agreement on energy policy, it said that installed PV capacity will have to reach as much as 205GW by 2030. “Additional tendering volumes for 2022 are not sufficient here,” said BEE president Simone Peter.

The news comes after Germany installed 4.8GW of solar PV last year, more than any other EU market, with the sector boosted by a “tried and tested” regulatory scheme as well as attractive feed-in premiums for medium- to large-scale commercial systems, according to SolarPower Europe.

As part of its national energy and climate plan, Germany is aiming to reach 98GW of installed solar by 2030, up from the current level of approximately 54GW.

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