Germany tables solar power strategy as 2023 expansion could surpass goal
Clean Energy Wire
In a bid to greatly improve the roll-out of solar power in the next years, Germany’s government has tabled a strategy aimed at simplifying regulation, unlocking new locations, and incentivising investments in the technology. At a press conference after the government's second 'Solar PV-Summit' this year, economy and climate action minister Robert Habeck said the technology will be one of the key power sources of the future and greatly contribute to the goal of a share of 80 percent renewables in Germany’s electricity mix by 2030. Total capacity is planned to then be 215 gigawatts (GW), from about 63 GW in 2022. “We see that the buildout is gaining traction,” Habeck said, adding that the 2023 goal of adding 9 GW capacity could well be surpassed by the end of the year and reach more than 10 GW. In the first three months of this year the solar industry already marked its most busy quarter ever by installing 2.7 GW of new capacity. The expansion target by 2026 is 22 GW per year. “With the strategy we presented today we intend to greatly increase expansion speed once more and remove all brakes that so far have hindered a faster pace,” the Green Party politician added.
Carsten Körnig, head of industry lobby group BSW Solar, said the push by private homeowners in the energy crisis to become more independent regarding electricity supply had greatly helped boost expansion to record levels. Given the challenges arising from inflation and higher interest rates, it would now be necessary to also incentivise corporate users to invest in solar PV installations to uphold the positive trend.
At a first summit in March, the framework for expansion volumes, support rates, and regulations had been prepared, Habeck said. The task now would be to go into the details of licensing and implementation and work on additional challenges, such as establishing European production capacities and securing enough skilled workers to carry out installations. Key aspects of the strategy include:
- Annual expansion of 11 GW ground-mounted installations by 2026; securing sufficient land area, reducing planning and licensing barriers and implement “innovative concepts” such as Agri-PV on farmland or Floating-PV on waterbodies
- Annual expansion of 11 GW roof-mounted installations by 2026; improve installations on large commercial buildings
- Increase the use of tenant electricity schemes and expand installed capacities on apartment buildings; simplify rules for so-called ‘balcony power plants’ with small solar PV installations
- Achieve greater public acceptance by offering participation for municipalities and citizen initiatives
- Enable Germany and Europe to cover most demand with domestic production by building up production capacities in the entire manufacturing process