87 percent of Germany’s PV imports 2022 came from China

Around 87 percent of German imports for photovoltaic systems came from the People’s Republic of China in 2022. The value of these imported goods was € 3.1 billion ($ 3.29 billion), according to the Federal Statistical Office (Statistisches Bundesamt, Destatis). China was followed at a great distance by the Netherlands with a goods value of € 143 million (4% share) and Taiwan (€ 94 million, 3%). In total, PV systems worth around € 3.6 billion entered Germany last year. In its data on foreign trade statistics of Germany’s cross-border trade in goods with foreign countries, the Office uses the term »photovoltaic systems« to include not only solar cells but also other photodiodes (in detail, the data includes the product codes WA85017100 Direct current generators, photovoltaic, <50W; WA85017200 Direct current generators, photovoltaic, >50W; WA85018000 Alternating current generators, photovoltaic; WA85414300 Photovoltaic elements, in modules or in the form of panels).
According to the statistics, the value of PV imports in 2022 was more than twice the value of exports of these goods from Germany, which was just over € 1.4 billion. These went to a large extent to European countries. The main buyers were Austria (€ 206 million, 14%), the Netherlands (€ 164 million, 11%) and Italy (€ 160 million, 11%).
The increase in imports is likely due in part to increased domestic solar module production, as the cells required for this also largely come from China. From January to September 2022, about 2.9 million solar modules were produced in Germany for sale domestically or abroad, 44 percent more than in the first three quarters of 2021 and 75 percent more than in the same period of the pre-Corona year 2019, for which the data were first available.

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