Can Germany’s energy system cope with even more PV electricity in the future?

Published: September 1, 2011

By Jan Michael Knaack, Manager, German Solar Industry Association (BSW)

In recent years, Germany has seen impressive growth in its PV market. From a virtually non-existent market based on the 1,000 roof support program at the end of the 1990s, Germany now represents the world’s biggest PV market and has created a strong PV industry base. With approximately 17GW of installed PV capacity at the end of 2010 – accounting for 2% of its electricity consumption, Germany has become a solar super power and triggered market growth and technology development worldwide. Nevertheless, the innovative scheme of feed-in tariffs (FiT), which provided incentives for solar PV installations and helped to ramp up an unknown cycle of innovation, will have to evolve towards more diversified ways of supporting system transformation of the electricity market and PV market integration until full competiveness of PV technology is reached in Germany, anticipated for 2017.

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