Even though Germany again couldn’t reach its annual 2.5 GW target last year, PV additions in 2017 exceeded 2016 numbers.
- Germany registered 157.8 MW of installed solar power capacity in December 2017
- The December registrations include 81.9 MW of residential rooftop systems and 21 ground-mounted installations with 75.9 MW, of which 14 were tender-based solar parks
- Total PV capacity registered during the year hit 1.75 GW, which is 14% above 2016 numbers
- Cumulative PV capacity rises to 43 GW
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While Germany’s December figures lifted the country to an annual cumulative of 1.75 GW, 14% above the 1.5 GW in 2016, the stats were only 40% of its 2.5 GW annual target, according to numbers from the country’s Federal Network Agency.
The figures for December of 157.8 MW were a big jump over the 116 MW in November (see Germany Adds 116 MW In November) due to “sharply lower” PV prices, according to the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar). It estimates that 67,200 new PV systems were installed in 2017, up from 52,000 in the previous year. In fact, the market would have been bigger if prices had decreased as forecasted. But prices stayed rather ‘high’ because of the strong demand in China and the US, which resulted in many European developers delaying their installation schedules.
The December registrations include 81.9 MW of residential rooftop systems and 21 ground-mounted installations with 75.9 MW, of which 14 were tender-based solar parks. However, the 2017 numbers of 1.75 GW might still go up a bit as this number is based on registrations, which sometimes come in months after the systems were actually installed.
The industry body says the government must eliminate “existing market barriers” to the growth of PV and increase expansion targets significantly. In October 2017, BSW published a Solar Action Plan asking the government to increase the annual PV tender volume from 600 MW to 3 GW, increase the annual 2.5 GW installation target and eliminate the 52 GW installation cap completely, among others.
In discussions about forming a new government, the Conservative Party and the Social Democrats had agreed to add 4 GW of solar and wind each in 2019/20. “This can be only the beginning, in the following years this needs to be consolidated and increased,” said Carsten Körnig, managing director of BSW.
As of the end of 2017, Germany’s cumulative PV capacity was 43 GW. It includes 32.4 GW of new PV plants recorded since 2010. The remaining 10.6 were installed before 2010.