Installed solar capacity in Germany last year came in more then 2GW under the figure predicted by the country’s grid operators, despite experiencing close to 100% year-on-year growth. The disappointing numbers are a consequence of the two feed-in tariff cuts implemented by the government during the past 12 months.

The official figure published by the German Federal Network Agency saw 242,893 systems, totalling 7.25GW, installed in 2010 – considerably less than the expected total of 9.5GW; installations for December were 1.17MW.

Small-scale projects (10kW to 30kW) made up the 26% majority of the annual figure, while the market for mid- to large-scale developments (100kW to 500kW) experienced healthy growth of 174%. Meanwhile, in the regional breakdown, Bavaria once again lead the way, installing 2,379MW and taking 33% of the market share; Baden-Württemberg and North Rhine-Westphalia trailed in second and third respectively.

“The facts speak for continued growth in the German market,” commented EuPD Research analyst Markus Lohr. “Growth in most regions is, compared to that of previous years, overproportional. Only some regions are showing symptoms of saturation. Although business was slow at the start of the year, the market is set to clearly pull forward in the coming months, as soon as prices have stabilised. Furthermore, the market researchers estimate that development in the German market is likely to be somewhat dependent on the political decisions pending in Italy.

“An additional effect is expected to stem from mid-year degression. As a peak in installed capacity expected in June will not be included in the calculations for the half-year degression, it is not to be assumed that this half-year degression will thwart the market significantly. Thus, EuPD Research anticipates further but more moderate growth in the German market for the year 2011."