Global photovoltaic boom enters the next round

Global demand for 2017 expected to reach around 80 GW / Finally, all signs once again point to growth for solar energy – in Germany as well / Attractive investment conditions for consumers and companies / Dramatic cost declines enable significantly higher solar energy shares in the implementation of Paris climate targets / BSW-Solar: Federal Government should stop putting the brakes on expansion Berlin/

The global photovoltaic boom continues in 2017. This year will see new solar power systems being commissioned around the world with a peak capacity totaling close to 80 gigawatts (GWp), compared to deployment of 75 GWp in the year 2016. The German Solar Association has published its current market forecast today at Intersolar Europe, the world’s leading exhibition for the solar industry, where hundreds of companies from Germany are represented. “German companies have success along the entire value chain, from silicon as a raw material to machine and plant engineering to systems technology, project development, power plant construction to battery storage systems. Many of these companies can profit from the growing global market,” explains Joachim Goldbeck, President of the German Solar Association, or BSW-Solar.

In Germany as well, all signs once again point to growth. According to figures published by the Bundesnetzagentur, the German Federal Network Agency, nearly 65% more new solar power capacity was installed during the first three months of this year than in the same period last year. By now, nearly half of private investors combine a new solar power system with a battery storage system, thereby making it possible to utilize solar power during evening hours as well. Thanks to attractive expected rates of return and favorable financing terms for owners of commercial and private real estate, the industry association BSW-Solar expects a continued increase in demand over the coming months. “The investment terms for consumers and businesses are attractive. This is the right time to get into the market for solar power generation,” says Carsten Körnig, Chief Executive Officer of BSW-Solar.

“We are excited about the rising demand we’re seeing. But we also know that we need many more solar power systems if we are to achieve the climate targets of the Paris Agreement and cover the growing need in the electricity, heating and mobility sectors,” explains Körnig. At 6.6 cents per kilowatt hour, solar power generated at power plant scale in Germany is now below the generating cost of electricity from newly constructed fossil fuel-based power plants. Körnig: “There is no longer any reason to keep a cap on photovoltaics in place. If political stakeholders would now ease the brakes on growth and eliminate bureaucratic barriers, the much needed expansion of photovoltaics can be achieved in a cost-effective manner.”

“More and more countries are taking climate protection seriously and investing in clean solar energy. In many cases it is purely an economic decision, as in much of the world solar power is already the cheapest form of generating electricity, and can also be generated close to the point of consumption,” explains Körnig. By the year 2020 at the 2 / 2 latest, according to estimates from the association, annual new photovoltaic deployment will have reached the 100-gigawatt milestone. By comparison: In the year 2010, global PV sales amounted to only 17 gigawatts.

Coinciding with the upcoming Bundestag elections, or federal parliamentary elections, which will take place in September of this year, the German Solar Industry Association has launched a “BundesSolarWahl”, or “Federal Solar Elections”. Under and at the exhibition stand of BSW-Solar, companies from the solar industry can take part in this “election” and direct their wishes with regard to solar power policy to the new federal government.

In a current study, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has established that in over 30 countries photovoltaics are by now so inexpensive that they can already be operated profitably without economic support measures. In an increasing number of countries, it makes more economic sense to invest in solar and wind power plants than in coal-fired power plants. In a study for Agora Energiewende already in 2015, the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems came to the conclusion that solar power would soon be the cheapest electricity source in many parts of the world. In the year 2016, six countries had photovoltaic markets in the gigawatt range (China, USA, Japan, India, Great Britain and Germany). A total of 24 countries have photovoltaic systems with an accumulated capacity of over 1 GW. Meanwhile, photovoltaic systems with a total capacity of over 300 GW are in operation around the world, approximately 42 GW of which can be found in Germany.



David Wedepohl, Press Spokesman
German Solar Association
Lietzenburger Strasse 53
10719 Berlin
Tel.: 030 / 29 777 88 30

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