According to the latest statistics from the Germany Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur), 377.6 MW of new PV capacity was installed throughout the country in October. This is the highest monthly increase since February and a solid 90 MW more than the new capacity additions seen in September. This significant growth is mainly due to several ground-mounted PV projects from the country’s tenders that finally came online last month. The agency’s list includes 28 solar parks with a capacity of 105 MW.
The amount of capacity being developed outside of the tenders was roughly at the same level as the preceding month, at around 265 MW. Ground-mounted PV plants up to 750 kW in size account for about 26.3 MW of the total.
The picture for applications for the PV tenant electricity scheme remains unchanged, with 49 PV systems – a bit more than 1 MW – achieving grid connection in October. This year, around 10.6 MW of tenant electricity projects have been reported to Bundesnetzagentur for subsidies.
The agency’s data also includes nearly 300 solar systems in October, for which no public subsidy is required. These may likely be mini solar devices, such as balcony modules, as more than half of them will offer less than 1 kW of power. But three of these projects, with a combined capacity of more than 4 MW, are larger than 1 MW.
So far this year, 3.34 GW of new PV systems have been registered by Bundesnetzagentur, with cumulative installed PV capacity reaching 49.27 GW at the end of October. Along the path to 52 GW, the FiTs for installations of up to 750 kW are set to expire, according to the current regulatory framework of Germany’s renewable energy law – the so-called “EEG.” Although there is an explicit will on the part of the governing parties to abolish this capacity cap, it is still unclear when this will happen.
According to many experts, time is of the essence. With each passing month, uncertainty among investors is growing, as they are unsure about whether they will receive FITs for their PV systems. The German Society for Solar Energy estimates that the cap could be reached in June 2020. If it is not removed by the end of this year, it could happen by April or May, in which case many market participants will probably try to quickly install as much as possible in order to secure subsidy support for their investments.
In December, the FiTs for PV systems will drop by another 1% for installations up to 750 kW in size. For the first time, the FiTs for all systems will be below the mark of €0.10/kWh. Depending on the size of the system, they will range from €0.0997/kWh to €0.0688/kWh.