• Swissolar says Switzerland installed 332 MW of new solar PV capacity in 2019, taking annual growth of 20%
  • Maximum growth was registered in the C&I segment and there is good interest being observed for solar and storage system together
  • Cumulative installed PV capacity of the country went up to nearly 2.5 GW at the end of 2019

Switzerland’s solar association Swissolar says till the end of 2019, the country’s cumulative installed solar PV capacity reached close to 2.5 GW covering 3.8% of its total electricity needs while registering an annual growth of over 20% with the addition of 332 MW.

In 2018, the European country installed 271 MW while the highest solar PV capacity addition in any given year in the country was in 2015 with around 340 MW.

In 2019, the largest share came from large scale solar power plants with more than 1 MW capacity. All market segments scored higher than the previous year, especially the commercial and industrial (C&I) segment. Even though less battery storage units were sold last year than in previous year, newly installed storage capacity increased by close to 40% with average system size of 13.5 kWh, compared to 9.1 kWh in 2018.

Swissolar says around 15% of the newly installed PV systems for individual homeowners have a battery storage unit added.

For Switzerland to make good on its promise to phase out nuclear energy under its 2050 Energy Strategy, Swissolar says a massive expansion of solar energy will be needed to around 50 GW translating into an annual electricity production of 45 TWh. To ensure this by 2050, the country would need to install a minimum of 1.5 GW annually within the next few years.

Targeted support measures to encourage large PV installations without self-consumption as on agricultural land and for commercial and office buildings via tenders is one way to boost the market, something the Federal Council can incorporate in the revision of the Energy Act (EnG). Inculcating a culture of prosumers while making it mandatory for new buildings to install distributed energy systems for self-consumption and use of renewable energy in building retrofits would be other means, the association recommends.