A year-end rally in new PV installations did not occur in Germany in 2017. In December, new PV systems with a combined capacity of 157.8 MW were registered by the German Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur). In comparison, in December 2016, around 450 MW of new systems were registered, as a result of changes to regulations, which came into force in January of last year.
In 2017, newly registered PV capacity was 1,753 MW, which represents an increase of around 200 MW compared with the previous two years. However, the target corridor of 2,500 MW set by the German government was missed, again.
The German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar) said that the 15% increase in demand reported for last year was due to the sharp drop in prices for PV technology. The association, however, has urged the German Government to remove existing market barriers.
“Our energy system is ready for more solar. It is time to remove existing barriers,” said Carsten Körnig, managing director of BSW-Solar. The solar tenders planned for the next two years, with a total volume of 4 GW, as agreed by the government coalition in an exploratory paper, is “a step in the right direction, but it is not enough,” he said.
In December 2017, a total of 4,049 small-sized PV systems with a total of 81.9 MW were reported to the Federal Network Agency. However, only 2,215 photovoltaic systems with a capacity of 46.16 megawatts actually went into operation during the month.
The remaining capacity is for systems that were registered prior to December. of these, ground-mounted systems accounted for a significant proportion. Overall, 21 solar parks with a total power of 75.9 MW went online in December. The new ground-mounted systems have a capacity ranging from 408 kW and 10 MW. Of the 21 projects, 14 were selected by the Federal Network Agency in the pilot tenders it held between 2015 and 2016.
As the newly installed PV power is still below the target corridor, FITs will remain unchanged for the three-month period from February to April. The FITs for rooftop PV sysetms continue to be between €0.01061 and €0.01220 per kWh, depending on the size of the system.
For other facilities, the FIT will be €0.0844 cents per kWh. For direct marketing, which is mandatory for PV systems over 100 kW, the FIT will range from €0.0 884 and €0.1260.
Furthermore, the Federal Network Agency has reported that Germany’s cumulative installed PV capacity reached 42.9 GW as of the end of 2017.