Clean Power

Published on November 7th, 2012 | by James Ayre


1,000 MW Of New Solar Power Installed In Germany In September, 6,000 MW Installed In 2012 Already

November 7th, 2012 by  

Germany installed nearly 1,000 MW (1 GW) of new solar power in September, bringing its total for the year up to 6,200 MW (6.22 GW). These statistics were provided by the German Federal Network Agency, The Bundesnetzagentur (or BNetzA). The solar industry there also saw solar generation growth of over 50% in the first 9 months of 2012.

“Solar’s share in German electricity production rose from 4.1 percent to 6.1 percent, while wind power gained slightly to 8.6 percent from 8.0 percent and biomass accounted for almost 6 per cent,” Renew Economy notes. “Renewables combined accounted for about 26 per cent of Germany’s electricity production over the first nine months on 2012.”

According to Germany Energy Blog’s reporting on Germany’s Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the optimum annual PV deployment in Germany is between 2.5 GW and 3.5 GW. Exceeding that range results in a decrease in feed-in tariffs for new installations by 2.5% per month.

Germany has now installed more than 30 GW of solar power since embarking on its energy transformation, Energiewende. “A recent GTM Stat of-the-Day showed that Germany installs PV on solar rooftops ten times faster than the U.S.,” Greentech Media noted when discussing the September installation news:


Compared to Germany’s 6.22 GW of solar, solar installations in the U.S. now total around 3.2 GW for 2012 (and remember that the U.S. has several times more people and uses several times more electricity).

The U.S. solar industry is seeing a healthy growth rate of 71%. “But the next couple of years are hard to call,” says Shayle Kann, VP of GTM Research.

“We have a more sober assessment of 2013,” said Kann. He is projecting close to 4 GW in the coming year. But no one is certain what exactly will happen in the solar industry with the the ITC grant sunset. Still, “it’s hard to imagine a down year for 2013,” Kann notes.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

  • Ronald Brak

    We’re up to 2 gigawatts of installed rooftop solar in Australia, or will be this month. Within two years we seem likely to have 3 gigawatts. An 11 month old government white paper says it might take 8 years to to get to that point, so some people are obviously a bit behind the ball. One reason is that people making these estimates can be required to ignore the rapid drops in PV prices due to the conservative methodology they use. An approach that may have been sensible in the past but might be too bright now as it can lead to erroneous conclustions about the future. When its suitably sunny solar supplies about 15% of our total demand at the moment and is reducing both our coal and gas use.

    Solar pays for itself in Australia with rooftop solar producing electricity at a cost far below the retail electricity price. The US is behind us due to lower retail electricity prices and because they lack anything like our national renewable energy target. But solar appears to be at around the point where it will pay for itself for millions of Americans and the chances of some sort of government assistance look considerably better than they did a day or two ago. So I expect point of use solar will really take off in the US over the next couple of years and have a similar effect on coal and gas use as it has had here in Australia. This means no more fossil fuel plants are likely to be built.

  • jburt56

    We need to ramp up solar in the US. We shouldn’t leave all the heavy lifting to Germany.

    • Bob_Wallace

      I think those GTM projections are way off base. Prices for installed solar are falling fast, the economy is getting back on its feet and we’re starting to see how solar makes electricity cheaper.

      “The Mid-Atlantic Solar Energy Industries Association (MSEIA) and the Pennsylvania SolarEnergy Industries Association (PASEIA) today released a study by consulting firm Clean Power Research showing that solar power in New Jersey and Pennsylvania delivers value to the electric grid that exceeds its cost by a large margin, making it a bargain for energy consumers.

      “This indicates that electric ratepayers in the region are getting more than a two-to-one return on their investment in solar energy,”

      Research concluded that by offsetting the need for conventional power, distributed solar power delivers measurable benefits, including:

      Lower conventional electricity market prices due to reduced peak demand;

      Valuable price hedge from using a free, renewable fuel rather than variably-priced fossil fuels;

      Avoided costs of new transmission and distribution infrastructure to manage electricity delivery from centralized power plants;

      Reduced need to build, operate and maintain natural gas generating plants;

      Reduced outages due to a more reliable, distributed electric power system;

      Reduced future costs of mitigating the environmental impacts of coal, natural gas, nuclear, and other generation;

      Enhanced tax revenues associated with local job creation, which is higher for solar than conventional power generation.”

      I’m expecting a solar boom. We’re lagging Germany in system cost but we’ve 3.5x as many people. Their 6 gigs would be 22 gigs on our scale.

Back to Top ↑