Swiss PV market grew 30% in 2020


From pv magazine Germany

Switzerland‘s solar energy industry association Swissolar estimates that between 430 to 460 MW of new PV systems have been installed in 2020. If confirmed by official statistics, this would represent growth of 30-39% compared to 2019, when around 330 MW of solar was deployed.

According to the association's analysts, the residential and commercial segments both performed strongly on the back of recent improvements to the country's solar rebate scheme and an increased awareness of climate issues, which is pushing homeowners and businesses to become prosumers.

The Covid-19 pandemic has also played a role, visible in the fact many citizens have found the time to follow through on projects, and because of an increased availability of capital due to fewer spending opportunities. Swissolar is currently unable to assess whether these effects will continue into the current year, however.

Despite the good performance, the association said the current level of solar development will not be enough to reach Switzerland's climate targets. “In order to replace the nuclear power that is no longer available and to cover the additional electricity demand for the electrification of transport and heating, the annual growth must be increased to around 1,500 MW over the next few years – almost four times as much as last year,” said director David Stickelberger.

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In its “Energy Strategy 2050”, the Swiss Ministry of Energy is targeting an installed solar PV capacity of 37.5 GW in 2050. However, Swissolar considers the current framework conditions inadequate to achieve this result.

To address the issues, the association has proposed a set of measures that should help to significantly accelerate the pace of expansion. For example, it is demanding greater funding for rooftop PV systems that are not intended for self-consumption. It further highlights the opportunity for numerous roofs, for instance on stables or warehouses, that do not currently host PV systems because the electricity cannot be consumed on site. The same applies to carports or noise barriers.

Furthermore, Swissolar has requested that the hurdles currently hindering the development of utility scale solar plants be removed.

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