German 2009 Photovoltaic installs exceed 3.8 GigaWatts!

Record year capped by 1.46 GWp (GigaWatt-peak) of PV (PhotoVoltaic) installations in December 2009 alone.

After missing deadlines in early March and then the end of March, on Friday, April 9, 2010, the Bundesnetzagentur (German Federal Network Agency) released preliminary EEG related PV system registration data for December 2009. Perhaps someone noticed my tweet?!

Bundesnetzagentur eingegangenen Datenmeldungen wird spätestens Ende März 2010 bereit gestellt. Wo ist der Dezember 2009 #PV Daten? #Solar 7:04 PM Apr 5th via TweetDeck


As shown in the chart above, German 2009 PV installations of 1.4609 GW in December 2009 were off the chart since German Photovoltaic installs topped 2.34 GW through November in a literal sense reducing January’s 2.8 MW (MegaWatt) of installs to PV noise. December PV installs almost tripled from 496.8 MW in November increasing 194%. Registrations almost doubled increasing 90.3% from 22166 in November to 42188 in December. German PV installers must have been looking forward to the holidays and a relaxing January.

First, a PV industry mea culpa is in order for the revised PHOTON Consulting 2009 German forecast which nailed the number at 3.9 GW. I also recall the criticism leveled at PHOTON Consulting over the 4 GW German rooftop number at PHOTON’s 7th Solar Silicon Conference. That said, the PHOTON Consulting 2009 8.6 GW global forecast still looks high although I do expect the new German figures will drive analysts to revise 2009 figures once again.

Likewise, the “Photon Magazine survey puts German PV installations as high as 4GW” was close to the mark. PHOTON has been the subject of intense industry bashing over the German forecasts and their proactive political role in influencing the mid 2010 Feed-in Tariff (FiT) reductions in Germany. For example, please see the PHOTON press release “Solarstrom-Magazin PHOTON: Anpassung der Solarstromvergütung sichert langfristiges Marktwachstum in Deutschland” (German only).

December 2009 Registration Data
Capacity growth skewed towards PV systems 100 kW (kiloWatt) and larger representing 46.9% of the December 2009 installed capacity mix versus just 30.5% in November 2009. The 500 kW to 1 MW segment grew almost seven fold from November 2009, at least in part because 18 of the total 178 registrations were sized between 990 and 999.9 kW, avoiding the MegaWatt label. The largest PV system installed was 20.49 MW in Rothenburg, Sachsen, and it’s already listed at

The 10 kW to 100 kW segment remained the largest at 668.8 MW though it dropped to 45.8% of December 2009 installed capacity from 56.1% in November 2009. PV systems sized 10 kW and smaller became the smallest segment with 107 MW installed from second largest in October 2009 at 55.9 MW.

The installed German PV capacity mix shift would appear to reflect the yearend FiT degression and concerns about PV land use permitting and upcoming FiT revisions. I believe the capacity mix shift will continue until the German FiT revisions are finalized and take effect.

PV System Capacity Registrations Capacity MW
> 1 MW 112 (0.27%) 312.7 (21.4%)
500 kW < and <= 1 MW 178 (0.42%) 131.9 (9.03%)
100 kW < and <= 500 kW 1228 (2.9%) 240.6 (16.5%)
10 kW < and <= 100 kW 23815 (56.5%) 668.8 (45.8%)
<= 10 kW 16855 (40.0%) 107.0 (7.32%)
Total 42188 1460.9 MW

By the way, the German Federal Network Agency now claims preliminary PV registration data from January and February 2010 will be released this month.

Solarzubau 2009: das meiste Geld fließt nach Bayern – PHOTON: Regional differenzierte Vergütung schafft Abhilfe” (German only) by Christoph Podewils for PHOTON das Solarstrom-Magazin observes the majority of the PV FiT money has flowed to the German states of Bavaria (Bayern) and Baden-Württemberg in southernmost Germany. In a new FiT position paper titled “Vorschlag für eine optimierte Anpassung der Solarstromvergütung im Rahmen der EEG-Anpassung an die veränderten Marktbedingungen” (German only), PHOTON proposes the German FiT adjust for regional solar insolation differences by state to diversify geographic PV adoption.

However, Bavaria is also not uniform and diverse microclimates exist. Nonetheless, insolation challenges did not prevent the December installation of a 7.56 kW PV system in Schwarzenbach a. Wald located in northern Bavaria even though two of my cousins tell me solar makes no sense in the town. I wonder if the system owner got a good deal on amorphous silicon modules?