Germany added 543 MW of solar power capacity in July, according to the German Federal Network Agency.
According to Matt McDermott of Treehugger: “[In] the first half of 2012 Germany has installed just over 4.37 gigawatts of grid-tied solar power. Remarkably just about 1.8 GW of that happened in June alone (perhaps even more remarkable, this isn’t even a record amount for one month in Germany).”
The amount of solar power capacity added in June was much more than July’s, but July’s was still impressive. July’s addition brings Germany’s total installed capacity for the first half of 2012 to 4,900 MW (4.9 GW).
In the first half of 2011, 2.285 GW was added — 2.6 GW (or 53%) less than the first half of 2012.
Thus, the total of all solar power plants subsidized by the Renewable Energy Resources Act up to July 31, 2012 is a total of 29.7 GW.
This year’s rapid solar development can be partly attributed to changes in subsidies that took effect in that period. But it’s also clearly due to the rapidly falling price of solar.
As of April 1, the German federal government made drastic one-time cuts for rooftop PV panel systems and redefined the performance classes (cutting subsidies for larger solar projects). Therefore, at the end of June, there were important subsidy transition periods for larger plants, which is probably why there was a sharp increase in additional installations.
Until the end of September, operators of large solar power plants will still have time to connect their plants and profit from the old remuneration regulation.
Despite being cloudy, Germany’s solar power policies have enabled it to lead the development of solar panels. At the end of 2011, the country was #1 in total installed solar power, #2 in solar power per capita (only behind Italy), #2 in solar power per unit of electricity produced, and #2 in solar power per GDP (only behind the Czech Republic).