German solar breaks three records in two weeks

According to a recent analysis from the Fraunhofer ISE solar energy research institute, photovoltaic systems generated a record 24.24 GW between 1 and 2 pm on June 6 and a total of 1.26 terawatt hours over the entire week, likewise setting a new high.

On June 9, a national holiday in Germany, solar power production peaked at 23.1 GW, equal to 50.6% of total electricity demand, setting another milestone.

"German solar demonstrated just what it is capable of in the first two weeks of June," said Tobias Rothacher, expert for renewable energies at Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) — the German Economic Affairs and Energy Ministry’s foreign trade and investment promotion agency.

"The large amounts of solar electricity being generated demonstrate clearly that Germany will need more energy storage capacity in the future," Rothacher said. "Already, the more than 1.4 million photovoltaic systems are producing a surplus, especially on sunny days around midday."

Rothacher added that from now on, every new solar system that is installed in Germany increases the need for electricity storage solutions. He points out that the cost of storage systems is forecast to drop in the coming years "and this means that storage is not only becoming more necessary — it is becoming more attractive from a financial point of view as well."

Indeed, GTAI recently predicted that sales of solar power storage systems in Germany are set to skyrocket.

Experts from GTAI will be at Energy Storage China from June 23-24 in Beijing to advise international investors about relevant opportunities in the German market.

Despite the strong performance, the German photovoltaic market continues to fall sharply after a slump in 2013, however. Following a decline in the construction new installations from 7,500 to 3,300 MW last year, the federal government will likely miss this year’s targets.

Germany’s PV market shrank further by around 45% this spring, the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar) said on Thursday. According to unpublished figures from the Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), newly installed PV capacity in Germany from January through the end of May reached just 818 MW. If the trend continues, the federal government will miss its official target range of between 2.5 GW and 3.5 GW this year for the first time, BSW-Solar said, adding that Germany would likely not even reach the lower-end figure of 2,500 MW.