Solar PV Declines In Germany & Japan Won’t Affect 2015 Growth

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Despite expected declines in key solar PV markets Germany and Japan, GlobalData is predicting solar PV growth will still grow in 2015.

Analytics and intelligence firm GlobalData published its Mid-Year Solar Power Market Update report in November — reports which are always trailing behind as accurate and complete information takes a while to filter through — which analyzed the trends of the solar PV market throughout the first half of 2015. The report specifically highlights the demand-supply scenario in major solar PV countries such as Germany, Italy, India, China, Japan, and the US.

According to the report, global cumulative installed solar PV capacity is expected to rise from 175.4 GW in 2014 to an estimated 232.2 GW in 2015, “despite the anticipated declines in the annual installations of several key countries” such as Germany and Japan. China will unsurprisingly take the lead as the world’s largest market for annual solar PV installations in 2015, expected to add around 17.6 GW, while the US will follow far behind in second place with an estimated 8.2 GW.

Germany and Japan are likely to see their own places decline, however, due to adjustments in their government policies, said Ankit Mathur, GlobalData’s Practice Head for Power.

“After amending its renewable energy law in August 2014, Germany is expected to attain an annual installed capacity of around 1.8 GW in 2015 and will fail to hit the annual solar PV installation target of between 2.4 and 2.6 GW,” Mathur said. “This is due to ongoing Feed-in Tariff (FiT) degressions, along with the €0.0617 ($0.0688) surcharge on self-consumption in 2015.”

The same can be said for Japan, which has seen its “lucrative solar PV policies” cut in 2015, which in turn will see a reduction in the country’s installed capacity additions during 2015, especially when compared to 2014’s record-breaking 10 GW.

“With the arrival of the first solar PV FiT cut in April 2015, Japan’s FiT level decreased from JPY32 ($0.27) per kilowatt hour (kWh) in 2014 to JPY29 ($0.24) per kWh, and further to JPY27 ($0.22) per kWh from July 1, 2015,” Mathur explained. “These cuts, put forward by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, ended the premium rates for solar PV, and were triggered by a maturing market that has seen the cost of solar operation and maintenance fall.”

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Our Latest EVObsession Video

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it!! So, we've decided to completely nix paywalls here at CleanTechnica. But...
Like other media companies, we need reader support! If you support us, please chip in a bit monthly to help our team write, edit, and publish 15 cleantech stories a day!
Thank you!

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

Joshua S Hill

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.

Joshua S Hill has 4403 posts and counting. See all posts by Joshua S Hill

10 thoughts on “Solar PV Declines In Germany & Japan Won’t Affect 2015 Growth

  • To is sad that both Germany and Japan after leading for many years, did changes that will reduce RE use in their those counties.
    Perhaps with the COP 21 they may rethink policies and may make change again to look out for our planet .

    • The change to to the FiT in Japan is quite reasonable. Their original FiT was way more than PV power really costs, probably to kickstart the market. Keeping it at that level would lead to a situation we know from Spain, were the FiTS were first much too high, causing a costly boom, and than suddenly retro-actively strongly reduced causing a bust.

      The situation in Germany is indeed very sad. It seems a combination of a overreaction to the too high FiT levels around 2008, and the political influence of the dinosaur power companies.

  • “This is due to ongoing Feed-in Tariff (FiT) degressions, along with the €0.0617 ($0.0688) surcharge on self-consumption in 2015.”

    Is that saying that Germany started charging you for power you produce and use yourself? Ok say I get the drop in the FIT, even while keeping support in place for fossil fuel. But a charge on self consumption? Please say that is a typo, poor translation, or that I’m reading it wrong.

    • Sadly you are not reading wrong. In fact the CDU/SPD coalition government has tried slow down the Energiewende now for several years, but because of great public support for it they could only gradually bring it down but even passed a self consumption charge. 10 KW or below for homeowners is exempt, but they suceeded to cut back the solar market from 7,5 GW a year to now under two. Still renewable electricity, especially wind, is catching on fast, that is why they want to bring windpower installations down via auctions in 2017. The good news is, that by then over 40% of German electricity may be renewable and that the great public support means that they can’t stop the Energiewende, only slow it down.

      • However, the main difference between PV and wind in Germany is, that wind has more powerful and clever lobby. At least three northern states push wind and use the Bundesrat to modify some of the proposals of the government. In addition, the wind association in Germany works much better than the PV lobby goups. The 2011 PV FITs were a screw-up IMHO, sorry.

        In principle many SFDs with 10 kW PV could contribute a lot to REs (there are 14 million in Germany) and PV is still making money for the owners. However, the interesting thing is that this market is dead, too.

        • What also makes a different is that the big power companies are active in (offshore) wind power, but not only negligibly in solar power.

    • A bit more detail: In Germany the TSO’s buy the power from windturbines, PV- and biomass installations for a fixed FiT and sell it on the spot market. Most of the time the spot market price will be lower than the FiT. The difference is paid for for by the electricity users by means of a surcharge per consumed kWh. Energy intensive companies are exempt of this surcharge, so it is mainly normal people and small companies who bear the cost.

      Somehow the government had the brilliant idea that this surcharge should also be paid for electricity from PV systems that you consume yourself, either at the moment you produce it or stored in a battery for later use. Small systems are exempt so it does not affect residential PV systems.

      It is a bit equivalent with the government saying: people eat unhealthy so let’s subsidise vegetables and pay for this subsidy by a VAT like tax on all food. People who grow their own vegetables should also pay this VAT on their vegetables. Which is really weird because these people are already doing what the government (and society) wants, and now they are punished for it.

  • We need government programs to help finance going totally off the grid.

    • I disagree. I think RE as part of a wider grid is crucial initially as it reduces waste – less overbuilding, thus we get off FF faster.

      • That does make more sense however when we have places like Germany and Japan that start retroactively charging PV customers for the electricity they produce and consume themselves then you wonder. When the grid operators hire enough lobbyists to flip the common-sense tables upside-down and RE quits growing because of them then you can only grow without the grid. Hence government programs to finance off-grid projects.

Comments are closed.