Germany registered 101 MW of new solar PV in May

Despite adding 101 MW of new solar PV capacity in May – the best monthly performance since January – Germany’s solar slowdown continues, with the former shining star of the industry on course to grow by the smallest margin since 2007.

At the midway point of the year, Germany’s solar PV additions stand at 520 MW, a figure that ensures the FIT will be cut by just 0.25% in July, August and September, according to guidelines set by Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur).

Over the course of the past 12 months, data extrapolated between June 2014 and May 2015 suggests 1.58 GW of newly installed PV capacity in Germany – "significantly below the annual target of 2.4-2.6 GW set by the German renewable energy law," said network agency president Jochen Homann. "This level is only marginally above the threshold at which the remuneration for new solar installations would no longer be cut."

The 0.25% FIT cut mirrors the past three quarter. In 2014 only 1.89 GW of solar PV capacity was added, compared to 3.3 GW in 2013 and 7.6 GW in 2012. The data for the past 12 months includes around 110 MW of capacity that was installed before June 2014 but only registered after that date, which suggests that the actual capacity added is lower than official data suggests.

May’s official Bundesnetzagentur figure of 101 MW also draws on registered installations, rather than actual installed capacity, which is lower, at around 65 MW.

Germany remains the world’s largest solar market in terms of cumulative capacity, with 38.75 GW under its belt. Output from solar generating sources rose 14% in 2014, rising to 35.2 TWh, and accounting for 6% of the country’s power demand. New records of solar power generation are being set regularly, peaking above 25 GW in April. This week’s sunny weather across the country could possibly see that record broken once more.