Energy Insight Newsletter

Subscribe to our free monthly newsletter featuring renewable energy news, job postings, business profiles, conferences, and more. You may unsubscribe at any time.

German Solar Demand Grows by 300 Percent in 2010

Team Germany's (Technische Universitat Darmstadt) surPLUShome at the Solar Decathlon 2009 in Washington, DC
Team Germany’s (Technische Universitat Darmstadt) surPLUShome at the Solar Decathlon 2009 in Washington, DC.
(cc) Adam Fagen

Solar photovoltaic system installations in Germany in the first eight months of 2010 surpassed 4.8 GWp. With demand over 300 percent higher than the same period last year, Germany accounts for approximately half of all photovoltaic (PV) systems installed worldwide in 2010. Several of the world’s largest photovoltaic companies have further invested in Germany this year to meet high demand. Recent estimates predict that installations in Germany will approach an unforeseen 9.5 GWp in 2011, according to iSuppli.

Germany Trade & Invest will have representatives at this year’s Solar Power International 10 from October 12 to 14 in Los Angeles, California, to share investment opportunities in the world’s largest PV market.

With 4.8 GWp installed capacity through August, Germany has surpassed the 3.8 GWp installed in all of 2009. As global demand is projected to continue growing, Germany further consolidates its position as the largest PV market and a highly attractive location for businesses to meet local and European demand.

Increased demand in the rooftop segment corresponds with installations by private users who overwhelmingly prefer high-quality systems. At the same time, there is growing demand for energy storage systems and smart grid applications that fully utilize the own consumption bonus of Germany’s Renewable Energies Act (EEG). By 2013 energy from PV sources is expected to be competitive with conventional energy sources in the private consumer electricity market.

Companies that manufacture PV systems and components in Germany not only have easy access to a large and growing market, they also benefit from a competitive advantage through a local brand presence and reputation for high quality products. Germany boasts a well established industrial infrastructure, large equipment supplier base, and qualified and experienced workforce. The country’s PV industry also features the highest density of R&D institutes in the industry.

Feed-in Tariffs Support High Quality Systems

Amendments to the photovoltaic feed-in tariffs of the EEG were passed this summer with the final adjustments taking effect on October 1. The changes mark a further shift towards the rooftop segment by abandoning field installations on cropland and increasing the attractiveness of the own consumption bonus for small and medium-scale rooftop installations. This bonus is paid to rooftop installation owners of systems smaller than 500 kWp who intend to use the energy they generate.

Germany’s EEG, established ten years ago, requires power companies to buy renewable energy from system owners at the corresponding feed-in tariff rate for 20 years, guaranteeing an inviting payback time and high returns. Current feed-in tariffs in Germany are attractive, with rates ranging from 24.26 to 33.03 EURc/kWh for installations connected during the remainder of 2010.

Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies looking to expand their business activities in the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to German companies that seek to enter foreign markets.

Read Large-Scale Solar Power Systems: Construction and Economics from Amazon.

Jobs from Indeed