Solar energy has made a “spectacular comeback” in Germany – in sharp contrast to struggling wind power, reports Anna Steiner in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. The sector emerged stronger from the dramatic bust following the solar PV boom of the early 2000s and beat wind power on price in recent German renewables auctions. “Although most solar modules now come from Asia, many German suppliers and project planners have become established on the world market,” writes Steiner. She says solar plants can be built much faster than wind parks, cause much lower maintenance costs, and can produce electricity locally exactly where it is needed – for example on factory buildings or on the roofs of residential houses. An additional and decisive factor for the current solar boom is that local residents favour solar plants over wind turbines, which often meet fierce public resistance. New pilot projects placing solar modules on stilts above agricultural yield promising results, opening up new possibilities for deployment, reports Steiner.
Onshore wind power in Germany is going through its worst growth phase in two decades, with the number of turbines added falling to the lowest level since the year 2000 in the first half of 2019. Wind power is supposed to become a cornerstone of Germany’s future energy supply and the government has presented plans to greatly increase the expansion of renewables until 2030 as part of the country’s recent climate action package, which also removes the support cap for photovoltaic solar power, currently set at 52 GW.