German Solar PV Market Analysis

Germany is known as one of the largest solar power producers in the world despite being among the countries with the least sunshine hours.

Germany falls under Europe’s major solar market. In 2021, the country newly added 235,600 solar power systems to the grid which stands for 5.26 GW, compared to 4.88 GW the previous year. The EU’s largest economy has largely held the No. 1 position in the solar industry since the very beginning of this century.

In 2019, 2018, and 2017, new capacity totaled 3.88, 2.86 GW and 1.61 GW, respectively.

By the end of 2021, Germany boasted a cumulative 59 GW of grid-connected solar, installed under national Renewable Energy Sources Act. Solar energy accounts for 43% of renewable energy, followed by 56.3GW of onshore wind, accounting for 41.2%.

Different sectors in newly installed solar systems:

According to the data released by BNetzA, in 2020, residential segment (below the 10 kilowatts peak (kWp) power), 151,700 new PV systems were installed for a total PV power of 1,131 megawatts. In the segment of commercial PV systems in the 10 to 750 kWp power maintained a slight upward trend with 2,887 MW of new PV installed and 867MW in ground-mounted solar plants.

In 2021, newly installed solar power in residential segment reached 2,156MW accounting for the biggest share of 41% while commercial systems shrunk to 1,788MW, 34% of PV additions. The ground-mounted segment grew to 25% of total PV additions, increasing by 8% than the year before. Share of PV systems in net electricity generation is 10% with 48.5 TWh, which reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 33,6 Mio.t.

Meanwhile, Germany’s new minister for the economy and climate, Robert Habeck, has launched climate emergency programmes. Germany needed to triple its emission reductions to make good on the “drastic backlog”, he said.

“We have eight years to achieve the same growth in the share of renewables that we have achieved in the past 30 years,” Habeck said, referring to the share of renewable energies in power consumption which has grown to over 40 percent since 1990 and has to make up 80 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035.

The ministry expects power demand to rise from about 560 terrawatt-hours (TWh) currently to around 700 TWh by 2030, whereas the previous government had calculated a demand of roughly 660 TWh.

“It is a major political task. But one that presents an enormous opportunity for the country,“ Habeck said, conceding that the necessary changes would “deeply affect social reality”.

In a recent survey by pollster Allensbach, solar power ranked first as Germany is believed to be the most important power source in the future. Eighty percent of respondents expected solar power to take the lead and an even greater share, 85 percent, said they wish this would be the case.

To achieve the higher target and address the larger electricity demand, the government plans for ambitious renewable energy capacities. It aims of reaching 200 gigawatt (GW) of solar PV installed by 2030, which means having 15.6GW of annual additions, starting from 2022.

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