Solar in Germany

Installed capacity25GW

Germany is currently the global market leader in solar power. The Photovoltaic market has been growing at a spectacular pace since the turn of the century, partly due to government subsidies. With over 32 GW of installed capacity, Germany accounts for over 30% of global solar capacity. While global solar capacity increased from just over 70 GW in 2011 to 100GW in 2012 (approximately a 40% increase), Germany’s solar capacity increased by 7604 MW, an increase of about 30%. According to the National Renewable Energy Action plan, Germany has a target of 50GW for solar power by 2020, but by 2020 it is expected to reach 80GW of installed capacity. According to the German Ministry of Economy, the total electricity production is 125 GW; solar  therefore represents approximately 25% of the German electricity market.

The German Federal  government has shown considerable interest in the Research and Development of solar and in 2011 it granted more than 70 million Euros for 96 R&D projects in solar. The positive investor environment for the solar industry can be seen by the number of international companies that have built factories in Germany, including “Masdar PV”, a company based in UAE, which has built a module manufacturing facility.

According to Global Equity Research by UBS solar power has already reached grid parity in Germany, and over the course of next 5 years, the retail price of electricity is expected to increase faster than the solar. UBS estimates that by 2020, solar power would be about 25% cheaper than conventional electricity in Germany. Germany has one of the largest solar power plants in the world with “Solar Park Meuro” being the largest with a peak generation capacity of 166MW it was completed in 2012. Another solar park completed in 2012 was Neuhardenberg Solar Park with a peak capacity of 145 MW.