• The Parliament in Germany has officially removed the 52 GW cap on solar power installations
  • BSW Solar says going forward the annual PV expansion target should be raised from 2.5 GW now to at least 10 GW in the near future
  • German government should remove barriers for solar and storage to expand and encourage new applications of solar

After a verbal assurance to lift the 52 GW cap on solar power installations in Germany back in May 2020, Europe’s largest economy’s government has finally made good on its promise. The country’s Parliament has formally approved removal of the cap from the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).

It paves the way for the budding rooftop solar segment to continue to get feed-in premiums.

Celebrating the news, German solar association BSW Solar has come out with a 7-point plan to ensure solarization of the energy supply with help from the storage industry. The foremost recommendation is for the country to triple its solar PV capacity by 2030 to meet climate goals and power generation gap due to nuclear and coal phase out. The annual PV expansion target should be raised from the current 2.5 GW to at least 10 GW, in the upcoming EEG amendment, said BSW Solar.

As per the recommendations, the government must bring down barriers to ‘unleash’ solar across all segments including removal of the solar tax on installations for self-consumption which it claims blocks billion euro investments by medium sized companies, allowing solar roofs for large industrial establishments assuring them of better premiums, and expand possible location criteria for solar parks to allow for an expansion of the lowest cost application of solar power technology.

Floating solar or agrivoltaic concepts should be encouraged as new PV applications by way of incentives. Solar PV power holds huge scope for mobility, heating and cooling, and industrial sectors. Hydrogen production with the help of solar must be encouraged too, said BSW Solar.

BSW Solar also points at EEG funding coming to a close for more than 100,000 plants in the next 5 years. For these, who had received FITs for 20 years, it suggests an exemption from levies and charges for self-consumed solar power and reimbursement for excess electricity fed into the grid.

If reasonable minimum CO 2 prices would be introduced, the funding dependency of photovoltaics could be significantly reduced in the coming years. The European emissions trading scheme, which is characterized by strong price fluctuations, does not provide enough investment stimulus; instead, it leads to market distortions to the disadvantage of renewable energies, said BSW Solar. “It only represents a fraction of the health and climate impact costs of fossil fuels.”

At the end of April 2020, aggregate solar PV installed capacity of Germany was getting very close to the then still active 52 GW cap, reaching 50.66 GW (see Germany Installed 380 MW Solar In April 2020).