Survey of Energy Resources 2007
Solar Country Notes
Germany has the highest level of installed PV capacity amongst the European members of the IEA-PVPS. At end-2005 its capacity stood at 1 429 MWp, 25 times that of the next biggest country (Spain). Out of the installed PV total, 29 MWp was off-grid and 1 400 MWp grid-connected.
Recent growth has been nothing short of phenomenal: averaging 58% per annum from 1999 to 2003 and then accelerating to 80% or more in 2004 and 2005. Major factors contributing to this rapid rate of expansion were the highly successful 100 000 Rooftops Solar Electricity Programme which ran from 1999 to 2003 and the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) which, from April 2000, guaranteed a feed-in tariff for PV.
The Second Amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) came into force on 1 January 2004. It is expected to promote even further growth in the German solar industry in the coming years. The basic tariff available for solar power installations built in 2005 is € 0.513/kWh. There are bonuses for small installations and BIPV.
Solar thermal technology is also expected to benefit from a market incentive programme. The total glazed area of solar thermal collectors in operation in 2005 was 6 554 000 m2, giving an output capacity of about 4 588 MWt.
Plans were announced in March 2007 for the construction of one of the world's largest PV power plants. The facility will comprise some 400 000 m2 of solar panels, with a generating capacity of 40 MWp, and will be erected on a former military airfield near Leipzig.