Germany: Solar installs just 1.37 GW in 2015

In December, 3,371 new small and medium-sized solar PV plants, totaling 117.21 MW were registered with Germany’s Federal Network Agency. Together with 27.4 MW of ground-mounted systems, which were included in the register, 144.6 MW of solar PV was registered in the final month of 2015.

According to the agency, solar PV systems totaling 1.456 GW were registered in 2015. Originally, it calculated that 1.475 GW were registered, but it had to retroactively change this figure, as is evident from the degression in PV tariffs, with the average change, in light of the correction, at 0.43%.

However, not all the systems were actually installed and became operational last year. According to calculations made by pv magazine, the figure for new systems in 2015 totals just 1.370 GW, not 1.456.

Late registrations

In December, it was determined by the network agency that the number of late registrations had significantly declined, with more than 108.7 of the 114.6 MW counting as systems which actually went into operation.

Meanwhile, for August, it appears that systems actually in operation now significantly exceeds the amount registered. This is likely to be due to the fact that tariffs for ground-mounted systems ended that month. Compensation can now only be secured through the tender process.

Therefore, how much new solar PV was actually installed in Germany in 2015 could very likely change with more late registrations announced. It is clear, however, that installs remain under 1.5 GW and, thus, the government’s target corridor of between 2.4 and 2.6 GW.

Already in December, the network agency said that subsidies would not be reduced until March, because of the low installation rate. As such, tariffs will remain at the level of those set in September 2015, which sees between €0.0853 and €0.1231/kWh paid out depending on system size. Similarly, the revenue cap for the obligatory direct marketing remains at between €0.0891 and €0.1270/kWh.

4 new ground-mounted systems

According to information from pv magazine, just four permits for ground-mounted systems have been issued by the Federal Network Agency under the three tender rounds. Two of them can now be found in the system register, while the remaining two will have to be listed in the next publication at the end of February and are, thus, officially operational in January.

Solarcentury’s Calvörde solar park, which secured a contract from Sybac Solar already went into operation on December 11. In addition, the 10 MW Wertachtal-Augsburg system and the 9.9 MW Mahlwinkel have been entered into the registry. Another 6 MW system from the August tender went online early January.

Translated and edited by Becky Beetz from pv magazine Deutschland