Germany could add 140 GW of small solar by 2030


From pv magazine Germany.

Rooftop PV is the most popular form of the renewable energy technology in Germany and is pivotal to the urban energy transition, according to German consultancy Energy Brainpool, which says the nation has the technical potential to deploy around 140 GW of solar rooftops by 2030.

In a report for power company Elektrizitätswerke Schönau, the consultant said small photovoltaic systems with a maximum 100 kW generation capacity could provide the bulk of the 170 GW of solar the country needs to meet its 2030 climate targets and prevent an electricity supply shortage.

The total capacity of small arrays could treble and Energy Brainpool said a CO2 price of €79/ton in 2030 could see energy industry carbon emissions reduced to 157 megatons, significantly surpassing the end-of-decade emissions target. Such a scenario would also see German achieve its target of generating at least 65% of its energy from renewables by that date, according to the consultant.

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However, business-as-usual will not be enough to trigger such volumes of rooftop solar, said Energy Brainpool. The 5 GW-per-year over the next decade solar ambition cited by the government should be ramped up to increase from 6 GW per year to a 12 GW annual target by 2024 and then aim for 14 GW every 12 months up to 2030, according to the report.

The consultant also called for a stronger effort to drive rooftop PV, with funding made available for networking small systems through devices such as smart meters, which should be made cheaper. Older systems should be included in any reforms and be eligible for market premiums, including 30 kW arrays. The rules governing the ‘direct marketing' of power to energy offtakers by the owners of rooftop systems with at least 100 kW of generation capacity should be simplified, according to the report, and the subsidy-free development of unsubsidized large scale solar should also be made more attractive.

Energy Brainpool recommended solar be made compulsory on all new buildings and said the tenant electricity model enabling renters to benefit from solar should also be simplified and expanded. Energy communities as wide as district and even regional networks should also be made possible, in accordance with the EU Renewables Directive, stated the report.

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