Photovoltaic system installations in Germany in the first half of this year are estimated at 3 GW, reaffirming Germany's leadership position in the solar market, according to Germany Trade and Invest, a foreign trade and inward investment agency of the Federal Republic of Germany.
In 2009, Germany accounted for approximately one of every two newly installed modules worldwide, with total installations totaling 3.8 GW for the year.
Amendments to the PV feed-in tariffs (FITs) in Germany's Renewable Energies Act (EEG) were passed in early July and a further adjustment to the FITs will take effect Oct. 1. The changes mark a further shift toward the rooftop segment by abandoning field installations on cropland and increasing the attractiveness of the self-consumption bonus for small- and medium-scale rooftop installations.
The FIT rates were reduced by 13% for rooftop installations and eliminated for cropland field installations beginning July 1. At the same time, conversion areas saw a reduction of 8%, and all other areas were decreased by 12%. Beginning Oct. 1, these rates will be reduced by a further 3%. Still, the new tariffs remain highly attractive, with rates ranging from 25.02 eurocents/kWh to 34.05 eurocents/kWh for installations connected before Oct. 1 and 24.26 eurocents/kWh to 33.03 eurocents/kWh for those connected during the remainder of the year.
The changes to the EEG are a reaction to the increased price competitiveness of photovoltaic systems, including the recent price drop for solar panels and components. By 2013, energy from PV sources is expected to be competitive with conventional energy sources in the electricity market for private consumers.
SOURCE: Germany Trade and Invest