Germany installed 25 percent more solar systems in 2020 compared to 2019

In 2020, around 25 percent more solar systems were installed in Germany than in the previous year. Market growth would be between 4.6 and 4.8 GW, up from around 3.8 GW in 2019, according to a forecast by the German Solar Industry Association (BSW) after evaluating initial figures from last year. According to the data, no other form of energy grew more strongly in electricity generation than photovoltaics. Almost every tenth kilowatt hour consumed in Germany last year came from solar energy.
Demand in the heating sector also turned positive after years of decline. According to BSW estimates, sales of solar heating systems picked up in 2020. In the first three quarters of the year, the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control recorded a threefold increase in the number of applications for subsidies for solar thermal systems compared with the same period last year.
The solar industry also sees good conditions for further growth in 2021: »We expect the German government to significantly increase climate targets and the pace of solarization before the German parliamentary elections« in September. »The pace of installation could be doubled in a short time,« says BSW CEO Carsten Körnig.
According to the organization, a doubling to tripling of the annual expansion rate for photovoltaics would also be necessary to prevent a power generation gap. Market researchers expect this to occur in as little as two to three years as a result of existing decisions to phase out nuclear power and coal, as well as a foreseeable increase in demand for electricity. Most recently, scientists at Fraunhofer ISE calculated at the beginning of December that the expansion of photovoltaics - depending on consumer behavior - would have to be accelerated to around 10 to 15 GW annually in the near future in order to achieve climate targets (CO2 reduction of 55 percent by 2030).
Overall, net electricity generation (gross electricity generation minus power plants' own consumption) fell by 6.2 percent in 2020 compared with 2019 to 537.8 billion kilowatt hours. The share of renewable sources increased by 4.2 percent year-on-year to 245 billion kilowatt-hours in 2020. The share of fossil energy sources fell by 13.2 percent, while nuclear power recorded a drop of 14.4 percent. These are the findings of the annual report published in December by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW).
According to preliminary figures from the lobby of the German power and energy industry, photovoltaic systems with a capacity of 53.3 GW were installed in Germany at the end of 2020 (2019: 49 GW). These generated 50.4 billion kilowatt hours of electricity, 11.8 percent more than in the previous year (45.1 billion kilowatt hours). Growth in offshore wind power was 11.2 percent. Onshore wind power generation was 4.2 percent higher than the previous year, continuing to generate the most electricity from renewables at 105.3 billion kilowatt-hours.

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