In the wake of new solar installation data showing that the market did not meet expectations, Germany's Federal Network Agency has announced that it will not reduce the country's solar feed-in-tariff (FIT) levels on July 1 as originally planned. The decision follows several weeks of uncertainty regarding FIT cuts.
During March, April and May, approximately 700 MW of solar capacity came online in Germany. For purposes of determining whether to modify planned FIT cuts, this installed capacity was multiplied by a factor of four to estimate the year's total installations.
At 2,800 MW, that figure remains below a previously established threshold of 3,500 MW, market research firm EuPD Research says in a recent analysis of Germany's FIT announcement.
In comparison to last year's installation figures, the PV capacity totals for March, April and May declined by 39% in collective output and 51% in the number of plants installed, EuPD Research says. The decline can be observed in all market segments and regions.
‘We expected a weak start to the year and assumed a moderate degression to midyear thus far,’ says Till von Versen, an analyst at EuPD Research. ‘However, present figures underperformed expectations.’
The company's forecast for the first five months of the year was 1,500 MW, in comparison to the preliminary reported figure of 1,100 MW. The main reasons for this weak start to the year are decreasing prices, in addition to the previously mentioned uncertainty, according to EuPD Research.
‘Customers postpone their installations from one month to the next in the hope that prices will decrease,’ von Versen says. EuPD Research expects a significant increase in reported output for the month of June. In the second half of the year, a highly dynamic market is expected. The only factor limiting market growth will be the limited capacities of installers, EuPD Research adds.