• Germany has removed the 52 GW cap on solar power installations in the country
  • Government expects solar PV deployments to increase with this move
  • BSW Solar welcomes the moves and wants the measure to become legally binding at the earliest

Germany’s government coalition has finally heeded the recommendations of the solar PV industry – and agreed to do away with the 52 GW cap on solar energy installations. This decision will spur PV deployments for a wide expansion of solar energy in the country, the country’s Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said, according to Reuters.

Till the end of March 2020, Germany had installed more than 50 GW of cumulative capacity and was likely to touch the 52 GW cap within 2020 itself which would have ended the feed-in-tariff (FIT) for systems of up to 750 kW capacity. With the cap gone, the industry can expect for a higher percentage of rooftop solar installations in the country as this segment has been responsible for responsible for the bulk of solar additions in the past few years.

Solar PV association of Germany Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft e. V. (BSW Solar) in a statement released on May 18, 2020 when the government was yet to deliver a verdict for the future of the 52 GW cap, welcomed the move and demanded the agreement of the grand coalition to be made legally binding in the ‘coming week’ ‘so that the solar cover falls just in time’.

BSW Solar sees Germany reaching 52 GW cap as early as July 2020. With the cap still on, the market growth would more than halve and a temporary interruption in production may lead to massive damage to the solar industry.

Removal of the 52 GW cap had been stuck because of the government’s inability to arrive at a decision regarding appropriate distance between onshore wind turbines and homes. For this matter, the federal government has now left the final decision on state governments.

“Today’s agreement on the coalition fractions is an excellent result for the energy transition and climate protection. And it is also a strong stimulus for the economy and employment, especially in these difficult times,” said Altmaier in a press statement. “And we keep our word on abolishing the photovoltaic cap – the cap is lifted before it is exhausted.”

Under the country’s Climate Protection Act 2030, Germany aims to have 98 GW of solar power capacity, the highest among all renewable energy technologies. However, BSW Solar believes the scope is much wider – with consultancy EuPD it assumed a capacity of 162 GW can be achieved by 2030.