Almost 3,000 megawatt of new solar PV capacity were installed in Germany in 2018, an increase of 68 percent over 2017, the German Solar Association (BSW) said in a press release. The growing demand was due to decreasing prices for photovoltaic systems, the BSW noted. Half of new installations are now being combined with electricity storage systems. Solar energy and storage can “contribute to closing the gaps resulting from the coal and nuclear exits in a cost-efficient way,” said BSW managing director Carsten Körnig. He called on the German government to raise the “outdated” annual expansion caps for solar energy.
In early 2018, the grand coalition government had decided to raise the renewables share in power consumption to 65 percent by 2030.
One of the sunniest summers on record in Germany and much of Central Europe in 2018 has refocused the spotlight on solar power. Once a global technology leader, Germany’s solar sector has suffered from increased competition abroad and declining expansion rates at home in recent years. But changes in trade regimes, development of power storage and innovations from research labs offer hope for a revival of solar and its key role in Germany’s energy transition. Meanwhile, the German onshore wind industry said earlier this week that turbine additions dropped by more than half in 2018.