Freitag, 20. Juli 2012

Is German Special?

Germany is the country with the largest relative (4%) and absolute (27 GW) share of solar energy in the grid. The reason is not the nice sunny weather in Germany, the reason is a strong subsidies policy called EEG (Renewable Energy Law). It gives the producer of photovoltaic (PV) electricity a good, fixed price over 20 years. Did this really have an impact on the growth of photovoltaic installations?
German was leading the growth rate, now the world has changed!
At the end of the 90s, the growth of PV installations grows with a rate of about 30%. This is quite a lot. With the start of the EEG in 2000, the growth rate in Germany leap jumped to more than 100%. At the same time, the rest of the world has ever seen a decrease in the growth rate, down to 20%. During the last two years, things have changed again. The World, without Germany, has now 2011 a growth rate of 80% in PV installations, while Germany has fallen back to 40%, half of the global speed.

Why this Change?

The reason for this change lays in the price of PV-systems. During the last decade, the price declined from somewhere above 5000 $/kW down to 1000 $/kW due to the strong market in Germany. This low price makes PV economical within most of the sunny countries like Italy or India. Most countries have about double the sun radiation during the year than Germany receives.  
It seems so, that the growth of the solar installations is now market driven and therefore sustainable. But be aware, what 80% growth means, within 11 years, if the trend continues, the world may have changed to a complete solar energy driven world. Today, only 0,4% of the electricity is from solar, but in 2023 it could be near to 100%!

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