16 Mar 2022, 13:31
Sören Amelang

Energy industry calls for 'igniting the PV turbo' to reduce Germany's import dependence

Clean Energy Wire

Germany must urgently and massively step up the rollout of solar power in order to become more independent from Russian energy imports and reach its climate targets, the country's leading energy industry association BDEW has said. "The German government must now remove existing obstacles as quickly as possible in order to ignite the PV turbo this year. Time is pressing," said BDEW head Kerstin Andreae. She said the war in Ukraine had revealed the country's dependence on fossil fuel imports. "In order to reduce this dependence and at the same time achieve the climate targets, we must turbo-charge the expansion of renewables. Photovoltaics is a central building block here and, with its diverse plant forms, offers very variable and widely accepted application options."

The lobby group said the government's target of 200 GW of installed PV capacity by 2030 is already very ambitious because it requires the annual addition of an average of 15 GW. "That dwarfs anything we have seen in terms of new construction so far. By way of comparison: in the last two years, new PV capacity has hovered around 5 GW." In an analysis of the current challenges and obstacles, the utilities called for a significant increase in tender volumes, setting aside one percent of the country's surface area for PV expansion, mandatory PV systems for public buildings, and increasing public acceptance via new opportunities for participation, among other steps.

Germany currently derives around 9 percent of produced electricity from solar panels. The national government has proposed in its coalition agreement to make rooftop solar mandatory for new commercial buildings and establish them “as a rule” on new private buildings.

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