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22 Apr 2020, 15:05
Sören Amelang

PV industry business expectations collapse due to German solar cap

Clean Energy Wire

The business confidence of Germany's photovoltaic companies has collapsed in recent weeks due to the looming cap for support payments, according to a survey by industry lobby group BSW Solar. Business expectations halved within three months not because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but because the 52 GW solar cap limit to feed-in tariffs will be reached soon, the association said. "We have never before seen a comparable decline in such a short time. More and more solar companies fear for their existence," said the group's head Carsten Körnig. He added the corona crisis had little effect on demand so far. He said the limit will likely be reached this summer, and that a growing number of large projects are already being cancelled. The association's business expectations index fell to 68.5 from 141.2 points quarter-on-quarter.

The combined capacity of Germany's solar pv installations rose to almost 50 gigawatts (GW) in February, further approaching the controversial government cap of 52 gigawatts. In November 2019, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the cap would be removed, but the government has so far failed to deliver on implementation. The solar cap and other hurdles to renewable energy expansion, particularly onshore wind power, have become a drag on the country's energy transition, threatening to jeopardise the country's emissions reduction and renewable energy targets.

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