German solar power capacity in 2022 sees fast growth, still well below target
Clean Energy Wire
Solar PV expansion in Germany jumped 28 percent in 2022, with 7.2 gigawatts (GW) of new installations added to the grid in the past year, according to preliminary figures compiled by industry federation BSW Solar. Roof-mounted installations for family homes increased by 40 percent to nearly 3 GW, but installations on company building roofs shrank to a little over 1.2 GW. Large ground-mounted array installations climbed 70 percent to over 2.4 GW for projects supported under the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) and by 22 percent to 0.8 GW for installations built under power purchase agreements (PPA) outside the EEG support scheme. By the end of 2022, the total installed solar PV capacity was 66.5 GW, distributed over 2.65 million individual installations. With an output near 62 terawatt hours (TWh), solar power contributed twelve percent to net power production in the country.
The German government’s climate plans and especially the European energy crisis have greatly accelerated demand for solar power installations in the last year, with many households regarding PV arrays and solar thermal installations a solution that is cheaper, more secure and also more affordable in the long-term than fossil fuel alternatives. However, the rise in expansion volumes is not nearly enough to fulfill government target levels for the next years, which would mean a tripling of annual expansion volumes to reach a total capacity of 215 GW by 2030, or 22 GW per year. Industry representatives have urged to relocate production capacities from China to Europe in order to ensure sufficient hardware is available for fulfilling the expansion targets.