Germany: PV accounts for record amount of power

Reporting on the new record, Germany’s photovoltaic industry association, BSW Solar, said that the figures represent growth of 50 percent on the same period in 2011. "Thus photovoltaics develops itself as the driver of energy change in Germany," stated CEO Karsten Körnig.

In his view, photovoltaics will play a main role in the energy systems of the future. Already, the costs of newly installed photovoltaic plants are minimal in comparison to energy prices, due to the halving of production costs and subsidies over the last three years.

According to calculations, the share of solar energy in Germany is expected to double – from 3.2 percent last year to around seven percent in 2016 – while electricity prices should only rise by 2.5 percent.

Körnig added, "The energy revolution is not for free." Regarding further cost increases, he said that photovoltaics will only contribute to a fraction of them, while there is an expected explosion in the medium to long term costs for fossil fuels.

Furthermore, photovoltaics has proven to considerably reduce the price of electricity at peak times. These positive savings would not be passed onto residential customers, however, due to a "design flaw" in the EEG (renewable energy law) continued Körnig. On the contrary, from the merit-order effect, the energy-intensive industries, which are also exempt from the EEG surcharge, particularly profit from this.

Translated and edited by Becky Beetz.