Switzerland’s trade association for solar energy Swisssolar believes the country installed 430 MW to 460 MW of new solar PV capacity in 2020, growing its annual capacity by 30% to 39%. This is in line with the association’s previous estimates for over 400 MW annual capacity to be installed in 2020 (see 400 MW New Solar Capacity Likely For Switzerland).
This would be a record high for the country’s annual solar PV capacity additions, as the number is to have exceeded previous high of 332 MW in 2019.
Swissolar said the number of registrations at the Pronovo certification and funding agency suggest that the growth not only occurred in small systems, but also in those with a capacity of over 100 kW. Pronovo is a federal agency set up to promote solar PV in the country.
The association attributes strong market growth largely to the shortening of waiting period for one-off payments, and growing awareness due to the climate crisis.
At the same time, Swissolar also points out that the COVID-19 pandemic made people realize the importance of being self-sufficient in fulfilling their energy needs. Since they were at home mostly, and had a capital at hand to invest due to lack of other spending options, they were able to invest in solar PV systems. “It is not yet possible to estimate whether these effects will continue to be effective in the current year,” said Swissolar.
The association reiterated its demand for the federal government to aim for around 1.5 GW solar power additions annually over the next few years to cover additional electricity required to electrify transport and heating sectors. For this to be achieved, the government should consider greater support for self-consumption solar systems including for rooftops of warehouses, carparks, noise barriers and other infrastructure, while making it mandatory for new buildings in Swiss cantons to generate their own electricity by having the systems on their rooftops or building facades.
Official numbers for 2020 installations from the Swiss government will be released in July 2021.