- In 2021, Switzerland brought online a record 683 MW of new solar PV capacity, taking the cumulative to over 3.65 GW
- All system sizes and categories grew on annual basis with high electricity prices, electric mobility and energy crisis prompting investment in this reliable power generation source
- For 2022, Swissolar says it expects annual installations to grow by up to 30% to around 900 MW
The solar market of Switzerland installed 683 MW new solar energy capacity in 2021, says Swissolar referring to official statistics, representing annual growth of 43% and a record number for any year, thanks to high electricity prices, booming electric mobility and need to have a crisis-proof energy supply.
Back in 2020, Switzerland was reported to have installed 493 MW of solar power capacity (see Switzerland 2020 PV Additions Grew Nearly 50% To 493 MW). The additions in 2021 took its cumulative installed PV capacity till the end of last year to over 3.65 GW.
Growth was witnessed across all system sizes and categories, as per the numbers released by the Federal Office of Energy (SFOE) with industrial and commercial buildings increasing their share by 53%, and single-family homes saw their contribution to the total annual going up by 60%.
Average system size for new-build systems increased to 25.3 kW, going up from 24.5 kW in 2020. Swisssolar Managing Director David Stickelberger explained, “It has never been so obvious to install a solar system: It supplies the electricity for electromobility and the heat pump, contributes to the security of supply and protects against record high electricity prices.”
There is also interest developing in pairing solar PV systems with battery energy storage system (BESS), as every 3rd new PV system for a family home was combined with one. At the end of 2021, Switzerland had a total installed storage capacity of 157,000 kWh which Swissolar estimates should be enough to supply 15,000 households with electricity for a day.
Between January 2022 and June 2022, Switzerland’s solar PV systems supplied 6.5% of the country’s total electricity requirement.
The industry association wants the government to set an official target to install 2 GW annually. It expects 2022 to see annual numbers growing by around 25% to 30% to 850 MW or 900 MW.
“However, to phase out fossil fuels and nuclear power, Switzerland needs around 13 times more solar power than today. The solarification of 40 percent of the existing roof areas would be sufficient to achieve this goal. This requires reliable long-term framework conditions,” stated Swissolar that also pointed out at the staff shortage the solar industry currently faces.