Solar power in Germany

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Price change of PV rooftop systems
Average insolation in Germany

Germany is the world's top photovoltaics (PV) installer, with a solar PV capacity of 35.948 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2013[1] and a supported capacity of 36.519 GW at the end of May 2014.[2] The German new solar PV installations increased by about 7.6 GW in 2012, and solar PV provided 18 TWh (billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity in 2011, about 3% of total electricity.[3] Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050.[4] Germany has a goal of producing 35% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% by 2050.[5]

Large PV power plants in Germany include Senftenberg Solarpark, Finsterwalde Solar Park, Lieberose Photovoltaic Park, Strasskirchen Solar Park, Waldpolenz Solar Park, and Köthen Solar Park.

Overview[edit]

The German solar PV industry installed 7.6 GW in 2012[6] and 7.5 GW in 2011,[7] and solar PV provided 18 TWh of electricity in 2011, about 3% of total electricity.[3] On midday of Saturday May 26, 2012, solar energy provided over 40% of total electricity consumption in Germany, and 20% for the 24h-day. The federal government has set a target of 66 GW of installed solar PV capacity by 2030,[8] to be reached with an annual increase of 2.5–3.5 GW,[9] and a goal of 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2050.[10] From 3.5 GW to 4 GW are expected to be installed in 2013. Solar power in Germany has been growing considerably due to the country's feed-in tariffs for renewable energy which were introduced by the German Renewable Energy Act. Prices of PV systems have decreased more than 50% in 5 years since 2006.[11]

As of 2012, the FiT costs about 14 billion euros (US$18 billion) per year for wind and solar installations. The cost is spread across all rate-payers in a surcharge of 3.6 €ct (4.6 ¢) per kWh[12] (approximately 15% of the total domestic cost of electricity).[13] On the other hand, as expensive peak power plants are displaced, the price at the power exchange is reduced due to the so-called merit order effect.[14]

German electricity generation on May 25 and May 26, 2012

Germany set a world record for solar power production with 24.2 GW produced at midday on April 17, 2014.[15][16]

According to the solar power industry, a feed-in tariff is the most effective means of developing solar power.[17] It is the same as a power purchase agreement, but is at a much higher rate. As the industry matures, it is reduced and becomes the same as a power purchase agreement. A feed-in tariff allows investors a guaranteed return on investment - a requirement for development. A primary difference between a tax credit and a feed-in tariff is that the cost is born the year of installation with a tax credit, and is spread out over many years with a feed-in tariff. In both cases the incentive cost is distributed over all consumers. This means that the initial cost is very low for a feed-in tariff and very high for a tax credit. In both cases the learning curve reduces the cost of installation, but is not a large contribution to growth, as grid parity is still always reached.[18]

Accommodating high percentages of wind and solar[edit]

Germany had not installed adequate storage to accommodate high percentages of wind and solar power and in 2012 is exporting peak generation to neighboring countries.[19]

Approximately 9 GW of photovoltaic plants in Germany are being retrofitted to shut down if the frequency increases to 50.2 Hz, indicating an excess of electricity on the grid. The frequency is unlikely to reach 50.2 Hz during normal operation, but can if Germany is exporting power to countries that suddenly experience a power failure. This happened in 2003 and 2006.[20][21][22] The frequency of the grid is available on the Internet.

Statistics[edit]

Exponential growth of German solar PV capacity and its average electrical power on a log scale. It doubled on average every 18 months between 1990 and 2012. This corresponds to an annual growth rate of almost 59%.

The history of Germany's installed photovoltaic capacity, its average power output, produced electricity, and its share in the overall consumed electricity, shows a steady, exponential growth for more than two decades.[23] Solar PV capacity doubled on average every 18 months in this period; an annual growth rate of more than 50 percent.

Boom period[edit]

More than 7 GW of PV capacity had been installed annually during the record years of 2010, 2011 and 2012. For this period, the installed capacity of 22.5 GW represents almost 30 percent of the worldwide deployed photovoltaics. Since 2013, the amount of new installations declined significantly due to more restrictive governmental policies. Germany is projected to lose its leading position as the world's largest producer of photovoltaic electricity to China before the end of the decade.

Year Capacity (MW) Annual yield (GWh) % of consumption
1990 2 1.0 <0.001
1991 2 1.0 <0.001
1992 6 4.0 0.001
1993 9 3.0 0.001
1994 12 7.0 0.001
1995 18 7.0 0.001
1996 28 12 0.002
1997 42 18 0.003
1998 54 35 0.006
1999 70 30 0.005
2000 114 60 0.01
2001 176 76 0.01
2002 296 162 0.03
2003 435 313 0.05
2004 1,105 557 0.09
2005 2,056 1,282 0.2
2006 2,899 2,220 0.4
2007 4,170 3,075 0.5
2008 6,120 4,420 0.7
2009 10,566 6,583 1.1
2010 17,554 11,729 1.9
2011 25,039 19,599 3.2
2012 32,643 26,380 4.4
2013 35,948 31,400 5.3
Solar PV's share in the overall consumed electricity grew exponentially since 1990, doubling every 1.56 years, or growing 56% annually on average. The doubling time and growth rate differ from those of average power and installed capacity as the overall consumption also increased over time.
10,000
20,000
30,000
40,000
1992
1996
2000
2004
2008
2012
German growth of PV capacity in megawatts on a linear scale since 1992.

PV capacity by federal states[edit]

Watts per capita by state in 2013
  10 - 50 Watts
  50 - 100 Watts
  100 - 200 Watts
  200 - 350 Watts
  350 - 500 Watts
  500 - 750 Watts
  >750 Watts

Germany is made up of sixteen, partly sovereign federal states or Länder. The southern states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg account for about half of the total, nationwide PV deployment and are also the wealthiest and most populous states after North Rhine-Westphalia. However, photovoltaic installations are widespread throughout the sixteen states and are not limited to the southern region of the country as demonstrated by a watts per capita distribution.

PV capacity in MW[24]
State 2010 2011 2012
Coat of arms of Baden-Württemberg (lesser).svg Baden-Württemberg 2,741 3,581 4,286
Bayern Wappen.svg Bavaria 6,323 8,067 9,124
Coat of arms of Berlin.svg Berlin 31 46 65
Brandenburg Wappen.svg Brandenburg 564 1,546 1,724
Bremen Wappen(Mittel).svg Bremen 14 25 31
Coat of arms of Hamburg.svg Hamburg 14 22 30
Coat of arms of Hesse.svg Hesse 897 1,207 1,591
Coat of arms of Lower Saxony.svg Lower Saxony 1,511 2,284 2,959
Coat of arms of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (great).svg Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 249 520 839
Coat of arms of North Rhine-Westfalia.svg North Rhine-Westphalia 1,961 2,812 3,545
Coat of arms of Rhineland-Palatinate.svg Rhineland-Palatinate 867 1,175 1,458
Wappen des Saarlands.svg Saarland 163 223 301
Coat of arms of Saxony.svg Saxony 527 888 1,094
Wappen Sachsen-Anhalt.svg Saxony-Anhalt 408 856 1,223
Coat of arms of Schleswig-Holstein.svg Schleswig-Holstein 674 953 1,225
Coat of arms of Thuringia.svg Thuringia 298 519 818

Photovoltaic power stations[edit]

Largest German photovoltaic power stations (20 MW or larger)[25]
PV Power station Nominal Power[26]
in MWp
Annual
Yield
in GWh
Capacity
factor
(%)
Notes
Solarpark Meuro[25] 166 70 MW completed 2011, 166 MW in 2012
Neuhardenberg Solar Park[25][27] 145 Completed September 2012
Templin Solar Park[25][28] 128.48 Completed September 2012
Brandenburg-Briest Solarpark 91
Solarpark Finow Tower 84.7 Completed in 2010, 2011
Eggebek Solar Park 83.6 Completed 2011
Senftenberg Solarpark[29] 82 Phase II and III completed 2011, another 70 MW phase planned
Finsterwalde Solar Park 80.7 Phase I completed 2009,
phase II and III 2010 [30][31]
Lieberose Photovoltaic Park 71.8 53[32] 11 2009 [32][33]
Solarpark Alt Daber[25] 67.8 71.4 12 Completed 2011
Strasskirchen Solar Park[25] 54 57 12
Walddrehna Solar Park 52.3 Completed June 2012
Waldpolenz Solar Park 52[34] 52 11 550,000 First Solar thin-film CdTe modules. Completed December 2008 [34][35]
Tutow Solar Park 52 Tutow I completed in 2009, II in 2010, III in 2011
Kothen Solar Park 45 2009
Jura Solar Park 43 Completed 2014[36]
Fürstenwalde Solar Park 39.64 36.5 11 2011
Reckahn Solar Park 36 2011
Lauingen Energy Park 25.7 26.98[37] 12 Completed in 2010
Pocking Solar Park 22
Mengkofen Solar Park 21.7
Rothenburg Solar Park 20
Other notable photovoltaic (PV) power plants[38]
DC Peak Power Location Description Annual yield Capacity factor Coordinates
12 MW Arnstein Erlasee Solar Park, 1408 SOLON 14,000 MWh 0.13 50°0′10″N 9°55′15″E / 50.00278°N 9.92083°E / 50.00278; 9.92083 (Erlasee Solar Park)
8.4 MW Göttelborn Gottelborn Solar Park n.a. n.a. n.a.
6.3 MW Mühlhausen Bavaria Solarpark, 57,600 solar modules 6,750 MWh 0.12 49°09′29″N 11°25′59″E / 49.15806°N 11.43306°E / 49.15806; 11.43306 (Bavaria Solarpark)
6.0 MW Doberschütz Rote Jahne Solar Park, 92,880 thin-film modules,
First Solar, FS-260, FS-262 and FS-265[39][40]
5,700 MWh n.a. n.a.
5.0 MW Bürstadt 30,000 BP Solar modules 4,200 MWh 0.10 49°39′N 8°28′E / 49.650°N 8.467°E / 49.650; 8.467
5.0 MW Espenhain 33,500 Shell Solar modules 5,000 MWh 0.11 51°12′N 12°31′E / 51.200°N 12.517°E / 51.200; 12.517
4.0 MW Merseburg Geiseltalsee Solarpark, 24,864 BP solar modules 3,400 MWh 0.10 51°22′N 12°0′E / 51.367°N 12.000°E / 51.367; 12.000 (Geiseltalsee Solarpark)
4.0 MW Hemau 32,740 solar modules 3,900 MWh 0.11 49°3′N 11°47′E / 49.050°N 11.783°E / 49.050; 11.783
3.3 MW Dingolfing Solara, Sharp and Kyocera solar modules 3,050 MWh 0.11 48°38′N 12°30′E / 48.633°N 12.500°E / 48.633; 12.500
1.9 MW Guenching Bavaria Solarpark, Sharp solar modules n.a. n.a. 49°16′N 11°34′E / 49.267°N 11.567°E / 49.267; 11.567 (Bavaria Solarpark)
1.9 MW Minihof Bavaria Solarpark, Sharp solar modules n.a. n.a. n.a.

Companies[edit]

A portion of the Waldpolenz Solar Park

Major German solar companies include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Energie – Erneuerbare Energien im Jahr 2013 (February 2014; provisional data)
  2. ^ Bundesnetzagentur – Photovoltaikanlagen: Datenmeldungen sowie EEG-Vergütungssätze (in German)
  3. ^ a b "German solar power output up 60 pct in 2011". Reuters. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Another Sunny Year for Solar Power". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. 
  5. ^ Germany's Grid and the Market: 100 Percent Renewable by 2050?
  6. ^ German solar power installations at record high in 2012
  7. ^ Eckert, Vera; Christoph Steitz (9 January 2012). "German solar boom strengthens critics of subsidies". Reuters. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  8. ^ Property Wire (2010-04-22). "Germany Reducing Incentives For Solar Property Investment". NuWire Investor. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  9. ^ Lang, Matthias (21 November 2011). "New German 7.5 GWp PV Record by End of 2011". German Energy Blog. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  10. ^ Germany
  11. ^ BSW-Solar – Statistische Zahlen der deutschen Solarstrombranche (Photovoltaik), Oct 2011
  12. ^ Lang, Matthias (14 October 2011). "2012 EEG Surcharge Increases Slightly to 3.592 ct/kWh". German Energy Blog. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  13. ^ Electricity
  14. ^ Morris, Craig (2 February 2012). "Merit order effect of PV in Germany". Renewables International. Retrieved 17 May 2012. 
  15. ^ EEX-Transparenzplattform – Tatsächliche Produktion Solar
  16. ^ Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme – Stromerzeugung aus Solar- und Windenergie im Jahr 2014
  17. ^ The U.S. Needs a Feed-in Tariff
  18. ^ PV Learning Curves:Past and Future Drivers of Cost Reduction
  19. ^ Energiewende
  20. ^ The “50.2 Hz” problem for photovoltaic power plants
  21. ^ Timeline of the mains frequency
  22. ^ Impact of Large-scale Distributed Generation on Network Stability During Over-Frequency Events & Development of Mitigation Measures
  23. ^ Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit – Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland (December 2013)
  24. ^ Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics until 2016 pg. 70
  25. ^ a b c d e f PV Resources.com (2009). World's largest photovoltaic power plants
  26. ^ Note that nominal power may be AC or DC, depending on the plant. See AC-DC conundrum: Latest PV power-plant ratings follies put focus on reporting inconsistency (update)
  27. ^ Lima Group: BV Neuhardenberg
  28. ^ CFB News: Commerz Real Acquires Germany’s Largest Solar Park
  29. ^ SolarServer: 78 MW of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic plant connected to grid in Senftenberg, Germany
  30. ^ Good Energies, NIBC Infrastructure Partners acquire Finsterwalde II and Finsterwalde III
  31. ^ Implementation of the 39 MWp – „Solar Park Finsterwalde II and Finsterwalde III“
  32. ^ a b Lieberose solar farm becomes Germany's biggest, World's second-biggest
  33. ^ Germany Turns On World's Biggest Solar Power Project
  34. ^ a b Germany's largest Solar parks connected to the grid (19 Dec 08)
  35. ^ Large photovoltaic plant in Muldentalkreis
  36. ^ Photovoltaik in Oberfranken: IBC SOLAR stellt Jura-Solarpark mit insgesamt 43 MW fertig
  37. ^ Lauingen Energy Park
  38. ^ World's largest photovoltaic power plants
  39. ^ Construction Complete on 6 MW Thin-Film PV Installation in Germany Renewable Energy Access, 5 April 2007.
  40. ^ http://www.webcitation.org/6QwLVgSYo Rote Jahne Factsheet (de)

External links[edit]