Bavaria retains leading position among German states in solar power expansion
Clean Energy Wire
The southern German state of Bavaria continues to lead the field in solar power expansion in the country, increasing its capacity by more than 1 gigawatt (GW) in the first half of 2022 alone. Figures released by the federal grid agency (BNetzA) showed an 84 percent expansion increase in the economic powerhouse state compared to the same period last year. “Bavaria is a sun region and quickly and forcefully contributes to the energy transition,” the state’s economy minister, Hubert Aiwanger from the Free Voters, said in a statement. The majority of new installations were built ground-mounted on open areas and 40 percent were installed on rooftops, Aiwanger’s ministry said. Around 12 percent of the ground-mounted installations are already operating at a profit without support and have been implemented outside Germany’s renewables auctions schemes, it added.
Bavaria, which is led by the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) in a coalition with the Free Voters, is trailing the national average in other crucial energy transition categories however, particularly onshore wind power and grid expansion. The state’s industry, which is heavily exposed to the risk of higher gas prices due to the energy crisis caused by Russia’s attack on Ukraine, has already lamented the state government’s sluggish renewable power expansion efforts. State premier Markus Söder (CSU) and the mayor of the state capital Munich have both called for the nuclear plant Isar 2, near Munich, to continue running for several months after its scheduled decommissioning date at the end of this year to help with energy supplies throughout winter.