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Market barrieres deter German companies from investing in rooftop solar systems – PV industry

The German Solar Association (BSW Solar) is calling for a “rapid dismantling of market barriers” in view of an ongoing slump in the commercial rooftop photovoltaic (PV) segment. Companies have so far installed some 40 percent less PV capacity on their rooftops this summer than in the same period last year, the BSW states, citing data from the Federal Network Agency (BnetzA). Despite a high willingness in the private sector to invest in solar power, the BSW says the Renewable Energy Act’s (EEG) outdated and far too low PV expansion targets, subsidy caps and mandatory auctions have led to the lower solar uptake. “Market premiums falling too quickly and growing bureaucracy are increasingly deterring entrepreneurs from harvesting solar power from the roofs of their factories and warehouses,” said BSW managing director Carsten Körnig. “Funding caps and investment barriers must fall quickly after the federal election. Otherwise the energy transition will be slowed down further.” Companies with larger roofs would face further difficulties for systems with a capacity of over 300 kilowatts (kW), as these only receive subsidy funding for every kilowatt-hour of solar power fed into the public grid if they successfully participate in a tender – a fact that deters many, the industry group said.

Nevertheless, in the first seven months of the year, newly installed PV capacity in Germany reached nearly 3.2 gigawatts (GW), up from 2.8 GW in the same period last year, pv magazine reports, citing Federal Network Agency figures. In July alone, new PV capacity reached 0.43 GW, 0.3 GW of which were accounted for by rooftop systems outside the EEG tenders. By comparison, July 2020 saw 447 MW of newly added PV capacity. The German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) has called for Germany’s PV target to be raised from 100 to 150 GW by 2030.

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