PV additions in Switzerland in 2020 increased by 48 percent to 493 MW

Annual sales of photovoltaic systems in Switzerland in kilowatts of capacity. The rapid growth after 2010 was triggered by the cost-covering feed-in tariff (KEV). In 2016 and 2017, only small systems were subsidized, while in 2018 the first effects of the Energy Strategy 2050 will become visible.

In 2020, photovoltaic additions in Switzerland increased by almost 48 percent to 493 MW compared to the previous year. This is a »new record value,« says the Swiss Solar Energy Association (Swissolar). In total, solar systems with a capacity of almost three gigawatts were installed at the end of 2020, covering 4.7 percent of Switzerland's electricity demand (2019: 3.8 percent), according to the »Solar Energy Statistics 2020« compiled by Swissolar and published by the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE).
An increase compared to the previous year can be seen in all size categories and application areas. The increases were particularly high for installations on industrial, commercial and service buildings, as well as for installations over 100 kilowatts. The average installation was 24.5 kilowatts (kW), up from 22.5 kW in 2019.
The number of battery storage systems sold grew 65 percent from the previous year. About 15 percent of photovoltaic systems on single-family homes would be combined with battery storage. The total installed storage capacity at the end of the year was 28,400 kilowatt hours (kWh).
By comparison, 140 GW of solar power capacity was installed worldwide last year, 18 percent more than the previous year. Globally installed capacity at the end of 2020 was around 760 GW. According to Swissolar, this corresponds to 3.7 percent of global electricity demand.
»To decarbonize the energy system and replace nuclear power, we need a massive expansion of solar energy to around 50 gigawatts with an annual electricity production of 45 terawatt hours,« says Swissolar CEO David Stickelberger. This would be 15 times the current installed capacity. »For that to happen, annual additions would have to increase to at least 1,500 megawatts per year within the next few years, which is three times today's additions.«
However, according to the bill for the »Federal Act on a Secure Power Supply with Renewable Energies,« the addition should be only 700 MW per year from 2023 to 2035, Stickelberger said. The bill also contains elements »that jeopardize the further expansion of solar energy.« These include, in particular, the proposal that solar power fed into the grid should be remunerated based on the market price. »The parliament must correct this quickly so that the necessary expansion of renewable energy finally happens.« At the same time, »efforts to extend nuclear power plant lifetimes, which disregard the will of the people, must be abandoned.«

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