Switzerland deployed 332 MW of solar last year

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From pv magazine Germany.

Solar demand in Switzerland grew 23.3% last year, according to data released by trade body Swissolar and based on figures produced by the Federal Office of Energy. Newly-installed PV generation capacity last year amounted to 332 MW – compared to 270 MW in 2018 – and was almost as high as the 2015 record of 340 MW.

The new installations took Switzerland’s cumulative PV capacity to 2.5 GW, enough to meet 3.8% of the country’s total electricity demand in 2019. Solar provided enough electricity to account for 3.4% of demand in 2018.

Swissolar said the country needs 50 GW of solar capacity to replace nuclear and fossil fuel power plants and most of the panels could be installed on buildings. Deploying more ground-mounted solar facilities, the trade body said, would require better framework conditions than those currently provided by the Federal Council’s last revision of the Energy Act.

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The solar industry group said statistics showed the average solar installation in Switzerland increased, year-on-year, from 19.4 to 22.5 kW last year, with growth particularly strong in the industrial and commercial market segment.

Another notable feature of last year’s solar systems, according to Swissolar, was that the volume of grid-connected arrays rose, year-on-year, with standalone systems falling from 1.7 MW of new capacity to just 500 kW last year.

Energy storage is also becoming popular, according to the figures, with the 20.28 MWh of lithium-ion capacity added last year representing a 40% rise, year-on-year. Only 90 kWh of lead battery storage was added in 2019. Although the volume of storage deployed rose, however, fewer systems were added, with 1,500 lithium-ion batteries installed, compared to 1,565 in 2018. The number of lead-acid systems deployed also fell, from 25 in 2018 to ten last year, as the nation’s total storage capacity rose to 50,655 kWh.