Photon Magazine survey puts German PV installations as high as 4GW

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As 2009 draws to an end, a new annual survey undertaken by Photon Magazine, based on a sample of 119 grid operators, as well as information from inverter manufacturers, puts the PV installations in Germany at between 3GW and 4GW for the year. The figure is much higher than Germany’s Federal Environment Ministry estimates as well as those from major system integrator Phoenix Solar, however inline with Photon Consulting’s most recent forecast of 3.85GW. Total installed PV power could reach the 10GW mark in Germany by the end of the year and could reach 2% of Germany’s electricity production in 2011.

However, on a more controversial point Photon believes that the German feed-in tariff should actually be lowered more than is currently planned as production costs have fallen dramatically. This will result in the cost of solar being artificially higher than it needs to be and therefore potentially damage future adoption.

 “The high growth statistics are proof of the extent to which PV is underestimated. But because solar electricity makes a considerable contribution to halting climate change, this growth should be accelerated, more along the lines of 10GW per year in Germany,” noted Anne Kreutzmann, Editor-in-Chief of Photon Magazine. “To make such a high rate of growth possible, the German feed-in tariff for solar electricity must be decreased to a greater degree than originally planned. In the meantime, mass production has led to very low production costs for solar modules. In light of the climate catastrophe, we shouldn’t keep solar electricity artificially more expensive than it needs to be, since this would damage solar’s social acceptance if we are to achieve the growth levels we need.”

Photon had previously campaigned to see a more aggressive FiT reduction in Germany, however there would seem to be little attempt by the new German Government to change the current rate drops already in place for 2010. Instead, changes are now expected to be made to the FiT in 2010 for subsequent years, though these have yet to be revealed.

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