Photovoltaic in Germany
Germany is the world's top photovoltaics (PV) installer, with a solar PV capacity of 35.886 gigawatts (GW) at the end of January 2014. 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. Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050. Germany has a goal of producing 35% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% by 2050.
The German solar PV industry installed 7.6 GW in 2012 and 7.5 GW in 2011, and solar PV provided 18 TWh of electricity in 2011, about 3% of total electricity. 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, to be reached with an annual increase of 2.5–3.5 GW, and a goal of 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2050. 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.
As of 2012[update], 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 (approximately 15% of the total domestic cost of electricity). 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.
A feed-in tariff is the most effective means of developing solar power. 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.
Accommodating high percentages of wind and solar
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.
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. The frequency of the grid is available on the Internet.
Increases in installed solar PV power capacity and generation in recent years is shown in the table below. The solar PV power in Germany has been increasing exponentially for the last 20 years, with a doubling time of 1.5 years.
|Year||Capacity (MW)||Annual yield (GWh)||% of consumption|
Photovoltaic power stations
|PV Power station||Nominal Power
|Solarpark Meuro||166||70 MW completed 2011, 166 MW in 2012|
|Neuhardenberg Solar Park||145||Completed September 2012|
|Templin Solar Park||128.48||Completed September 2012|
|Solarpark Finow Tower||84.7||Completed in 2010, 2011|
|Eggebek Solar Park||83.6||Completed 2011|
|Senftenberg Solarpark||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 
|Lieberose Photovoltaic Park||71.8||53||0.11||2009 |
|Solarpark Alt Daber||67.8||71.4||Completed 2011|
|Strasskirchen Solar Park||54||57||0.12|
|Walddrehna Solar Park||52.3||Completed June 2012|
|Waldpolenz Solar Park||52||52||0.11||550,000 First Solar thin-film CdTe modules. Completed December 2008 |
|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|
|Fürstenwalde Solar Park||39.64||36.5||2011|
|Reckahn Solar Park||36||2011|
|Lauingen Energy Park||25.7||26.98||Completed in 2010|
|Pocking Solar Park||22|
|Mengkofen Solar Park||21.7|
|Rothenburg Solar Park||20|
|DC Peak Power||Location||Description||Annual yield||Capacity factor||Coordinates|
|12 MW||Arnstein||1408 SOLON mover
(see Erlasee Solar Park)
|8.4 MW||Gottelborn Solar Park|
|6.3 MW||Mühlhausen||57,600 solar modules
(see Bavaria Solarpark)
|6 MW||Rote Jahne Solar Park|
|5 MW||Bürstadt||30,000 BP Solar modules||4,200 MWh||0.10|
|5 MW||Espenhain||33,500 Shell Solar modules||5,000 MWh||0.11|
|4 MW||Merseburg||25,000 BP solar modules
(see Geiseltalsee Solarpark)
|4 MW||Hemau||32,740 solar modules||3,900 MWh||0.11|
|3.3 MW||Dingolfing||Solara, Sharp and Kyocera solar modules||3,050 MWh||0.11|
|1.9 MW||Guenching||Sharp solar modules
(see Bavaria Solarpark)
|1.9 MW||Minihof||Sharp solar modules
(see Bavaria Solarpark)
Major German solar companies include:
- BSW-Solar – Statistische Zahlen der deutschen Solarstrombranche (Photovoltaik), Oct 2011
- Bundesnetzagentur – Photovoltaikanlagen: Datenmeldungen sowie EEG-Vergütungssätze (in German)
- "German solar power output up 60 pct in 2011". Reuters. 29 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
- "Another Sunny Year for Solar Power". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011.
- Germany's Grid and the Market: 100 Percent Renewable by 2050?
- German solar power installations at record high in 2012
- Eckert, Vera; Christoph Steitz (9 January 2012). "German solar boom strengthens critics of subsidies". Reuters. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- Property Wire (2010-04-22). "Germany Reducing Incentives For Solar Property Investment". NuWire Investor. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
- Lang, Matthias (21 November 2011). "New German 7.5 GWp PV Record by End of 2011". German Energy Blog. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- Lang, Matthias (14 October 2011). "2012 EEG Surcharge Increases Slightly to 3.592 ct/kWh". German Energy Blog. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
- Morris, Craig (2 February 2012). "Merit order effect of PV in Germany". Renewables International. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
- EEX-Transparenzplattform – Tatsächliche Produktion Solar
- Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE – Stromerzeugung aus Solar- und Windenergie im Jahr 2013
- The U.S. Needs a Feed-in Tariff
- PV Learning Curves:Past and Future Drivers of Cost Reduction
- The “50.2 Hz” problem for photovoltaic power plants
- Timeline of the mains frequency
- Impact of Large-scale Distributed Generation on Network Stability During Over-Frequency Events & Development of Mitigation Measures
- Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit – Zeitreihen zur Entwicklung der erneuerbaren Energien in Deutschland
- Global Market Outlook for Photovoltaics until 2016 pg. 70
- PV Resources.com (2009). World's largest photovoltaic power plants
- 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)
- Lima Group: BV Neuhardenberg
- CFB News: Commerz Real Acquires Germany’s Largest Solar Park
- SolarServer: 78 MW of the world’s largest solar photovoltaic plant connected to grid in Senftenberg, Germany
- Good Energies, NIBC Infrastructure Partners acquire Finsterwalde II and Finsterwalde III
- Implementation of the 39 MWp – „Solar Park Finsterwalde II and Finsterwalde III“
- Lieberose solar farm becomes Germany's biggest, World's second-biggest
- Germany Turns On World's Biggest Solar Power Project
- Germany's largest Solar parks connected to the grid (19 Dec 08)
- Large photovoltaic plant in Muldentalkreis
- Photovoltaik in Oberfranken: IBC SOLAR stellt Jura-Solarpark mit insgesamt 43 MW fertig
- Lauingen Energy Park
- World's largest photovoltaic power plants
- Construction Complete on 6 MW Thin-Film PV Installation in Germany Renewable Energy Access, 5 April 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Solar power in Germany.|
- Cloudy Germany a Powerhouse in Solar Energy, Washington Post, 2007
- Southern Germany develops its PV Capacities
- Cloudy Germany unlikely hotspot for solar power
- Germany's sunny revolution
- World's Biggest Solar Plant Goes Online in Germany
- Official site about solar power and renewable Energy in the Emscher-Lippe-Region (German)
- Frondel, Manuel; Christoph M. Schmidt, Nolan Ritter and Colin Vance (November 2009). "Economic Impacts from the Promotion of Renewable Energy Technologies — The German Experience" (PDF). Ruhr Economic Papers. RWI Essen. Retrieved 2010-11-26.
- "Performance of Photovoltaics (PV) in Germany". SMA Solar Technology AG. Retrieved 4 August 2011.