• A survey by EuPD Research shows German solar installers are not too confident of having a brisk business as government policy is not conducive for sector’s growth
  • 52 GW cap in Feed-in tariff law has not been lifted, which the government has promised and industry has been demanding  to let the sector grow
  • C&I segment would be worst impacted while residential business is expected to continue to do well
  • Coronavirus impact on business is undeniable but the industry claims it is the right policy that will make the difference

After witnessing a positive business development between January 2020 and March 2020, German solar installers are not so confident of the brisk business going forward. EuPD Research analyzed that the reason is not so much the current COVID-19 pandemic crisis but the ‘wrong legislation’ that’s destroying the German PV market.

As Germany inches closer to its 52 GW cap for solar PV installations under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the government has still not made any provision to extend the incentives offered under the feed-in tariff law to further the development of this industry. Till the end of February 2020, the country’s cumulative installed solar PV capacity reached 49.9 GW (see Germany Installed Over 356 MW Solar In February 2020).

“The PV lid is choking off a domestic industry that is one of the growth engines of the German industry and provides wages and bread for more than 100,000 people. Despite Corona, our order books are full, we do not need any bailouts from the politicians, we only require that they keep their promises,” said Solarwatt Managing Director Detlef Neuhaus.

Installers surveyed for the report see residential solar installations of up to 10 kW capacity growing during rest of the year, but 31% of the installers expect commercial systems and 53% see industrial deployments to go down this year. “This will have a particularly drastic impact on the solar market in Germany, as commercial plants with 1.1 GW and industrial plants with 1.7 GW comprised more than 70 percent of all new installations in 2019,” claims the report that’s supported by BayWa r.e., E3/DC, Sharp and Solarwatt.

Germany has officially adopted a 65% renewable energy target for its energy mix by 2030 under  its Climate Protection Act 2030, with solar PV foreseen to have the largest share of 98 GW among all renewable technologies, however, not only is the 52 GW cap still in the room,  the solar industry considers even that number too unambitious. Lobbying efforts are on by German solar PV association BSW-Solar to convince policymakers get near the 162 GW mark it envisions for the industry by 2030. This all pales compared to the numbers SolarPower Europe published in its mid-April 2020 released 100% Renewable Europe report, which models at least 7.7 TW solar will be needed by 2050 to comply with the ambitious Paris Agreement target (see 100% EU Primarily A Solar Story)