• Switzerland’s new PV capacity addition during 2017 amounted to 241 MW
  • Most of the new capacity came from installations below 30 kW capacity, which means a YoY increase of 38%
  • Large systems above 1 MW strongly dropped by around 73%
  • Installations of commercial and agricultural segments dropped by 23% and 33%, respectively
  • Lack of funding for systems over 30 kW capacity and a waiting period of 6 years is a discouraging sign, said national solar lobby association Swissolar

In 2017, Switzerland installed 241 MW of solar power systems, registering a drop of 9% year-on-year. Local solar association Swissolar attributes the decline to lack of funding for PV systems larger than 30 kW. While installation of systems larger 30 kW fell by 31%, it was much higher for systems above 1 MW which dropped by 73%. PV installations in commercial and agriculture segments declined by 23% and 33%, respectively.

On the other hand, PV deployment of small-scale systems under 30 kW increased by 38%. Most of the installations took place on single family homes that reported an increase of 28% compared to a 14% plus for apartment buildings. Swissolar says PV systems are now a ‘standard’ feature for new homes and refurbishments in the country.

Swissolar has released the numbers based on its Solar Energy Market Survey 2017, published by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (BfE). The 241 MW number is lower than Swissolar’s expected new 2017 capacity, which was supposed to range between 250 MW and 270 MW (see Swiss PV Market Expected To Grow By 300 MW In 2018).

For 2018, it expects only slight growth, mainly because of lack of enough new larger solar power plants above 30 kW. The waiting period for subsidy payments for such facilities is up to 6 years. Swissolar has called for this timeline to be reduced by redistributing available funds within 2 years.

To be able to achieve the goals set out in its Energy Strategy 2050, Switzerland must expand the large-scale facilities on industrial, commercial, business and agricultural buildings, it argues.

With the trend of self-consumption of electricity becoming more widespread, Swissolar says the number of battery storage installations has trippled

In January 2018, Swissolar said it expects 300 MW of new PV capacity to be installed in 2018.