German 2010 Photovoltaic installs eclipse 7.4 GigaWatts

Various sources reported an erroneous 7.25 GigaWatts (GW) of photovoltaic (PV) installations in Germany for 2010.
1.17 GW of PV installed in December 2010.

Perhaps in honor of the spring equinox, the Bundesnetzagentur (German Federal Network Agency) released the December 2010 PV system registration data on Monday to complete the year.

With quick analysis, pv magazine, Photovoltaik, EuPD Research, and reported 2010 German PV installations totaled 7.25 GW for the entire year as linked respectively below.

German 2010 PV installation figures announced
7250 Megawatt Photovoltaik-Zubau in Deutschland
German PV Market: Federal Network Agency reports figures for PV installed capacity 2010
German solar industry installs 7.25GW in 2010

In this case, the Bundesnetzagentur press release, “Neue PV-Zahlen und EEG-Statistikbericht 2009” (Google English) had all the relevant facts indicating German 2010 PV installations instead increased to 7.4 GW, not quite doubling from 3.8 GW in 2009. Also, the Bundesnetzagentur observed actual installations in 2010 were below the forecast of 9.5 GW though the source of the forecast was not cited.


Someone alerted me to the discrepancy, so I can’t swear I would have double checked all the numbers either. The major cause of the confusion was an upward revision of September 2010 installations to 654 MWp (MegaWatt-peak) from 493 MWp. However, there were minor revisions to earlier and later months as well.

As highlighted in the bar chart, over 1.17 GW of PV was installed in December 2010 across 23862 registrations despite the early start to winter. Almost 450 MW of PV systems sized 1 MegaWatt or larger were completed at 148 locations in December 2010. The Rieselfelder Solar Park in Luckenwalde, Germany, was among them and has an official system capacity of 5.993 MWp. The largest December 2010 PV system installation was 18.647 MWp in Brandenburg an der Havel, Brandenburg, while the smallest was 210 Watts in Jengen, Bayern.

PV Solar is also a competitive business on the media and research side, but folks, please double check your facts and spreadsheets before reporting on installation statistics.

It’s official. By increasing “102% in 2010 to reach 878 MW, up from 435 MW in 2009”, US grid connected PV installations grew faster than Germany in 2010 albeit from a smaller base.


  1. disdaniel says:

    Interesting that well over half comes from <100kW installs. Must be the structure of the FIT payouts.

  2. ECD Fan says:

    Thank you for keeping track of these revisions. I often see “discrepancies” in official statistics like these from various sources and tracking down the reasons is a major pain.

  3. quote: “… but folks, please double check your facts and spreadsheets before reporting on installation statistics.”

    Well Günther, after I already had updated the complete German statistics including the previous changes Bundesnetzagentur had published on the 21st of October 2010 (mind you: not only for September of that year, but for the months October 2009 up till August 2010 (!), I re[double]checked my statistics after I read your post.

    I downloaded all present spreadsheets for 2010 from the BNA site, and rechecked them with the original spreadsheets still on my harddisk. And like I already published last year, those changes are still apparent (and unchanged) in the present spreadsheets on the BNA website. Hence, these two graphs are still valid:

    What’s more, I calculated the differences between “originally published” data and “finally published” spreadsheets (with changes for the months mentioned). As an example, take record month June 2010:

    Original published February 29, 2010: 2.126,142 MWp capacity, 65.416 new entries.
    Revision published October 21, 2010: 2.108,905 MWp capacity, 65.062 new entries.
    Difference for June 2010: -17,237MWp capacity, -354 new entries.

    And so forth for all months reviewed by BNA.

    Old accumulation with the unrevised reports accumulated to 7.250.098,116 kWp and 243.473 entries.
    New accumulation with all revised reports accounts to 7.246.787,978 and 243.275 entries.

    Hence, for 2010 the revised months January up till August taken together account for these accumulated corrections:
    -3.310,138 kWp (minus 3,310 MWp) and -198 “skipped” entries.

    Detailed calculation in separate spreadsheet available here (info at polderpv dot nl).

    This, however, still does NOT explain why Bundesnetzagentur in their “Pressemitteilung” claim that 2010 has seen 7,4 GWp instead of the 7,247 GWp that accumulate if you do the math on their own (partially revised) spreadsheets on their website.

    Thus either they have already used even more recent (newly revised) data for that “7.400 MWp” claim in their “Pressemitteilung” that only they can know of, but that have not yet materialised in “re-revised” monthly spreadsheets on their site.

    Or,, EUPD Research,, AND I have made the same “formidable” mistake with our independent calculations using the same material now still present on the Bundesnetzagentur website.

    Notwithstanding the outcome of that “minor difference” (taken literally as 7,4 minus 7,247 GWp = app. 153 MWp, approximately twice the volume of ALL PV-installations in my country, cumulated since last century…), the data will be updated and revised anyhow.

    We will only know that in March 2012, and even at that time, the final data might not even be known. In the just published EEG-Statistik report for 2009, BNA also changed the accumulated volume for the year 2008, and not only for solar (also for biomass and wind capacity). For PV they changed the 2008 accumulation from 5.979 tot 6.120 MWp, an increase of 2,4%…

    For extensive data analysis and graphs for “preliminary” 2010 statistics on the German PV-market, see:

  4. @disdaniel

    Actually the 100 kWp is included in the “>30 up till and including 100 kWp” staffel under the German EEG conditions.

    If I take the Bundesnetzagentur spreadsheets still present on their website as basis for calculations, all installations up till and including 100,000 kWp accumulate to a total capacity of 4.223.218,091 kWp (4,22 GWp). Which is 58,3% of total accumulation. If you believe that the 7.247 MWp in the spreadsheet addition is the “true” data (I just sent an e-mail to Bundesnetzagentur to try to get clarification on this issue).

    By the way: the smallest “entries” in the 2010 spreadsheets of BNA had a highly suspicious 1 (yes: ONE) Watt[peak] of nominal power (“0,001 kWp”). Examples are an entry for Kratzeburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the (revised) February spreadsheet, one for Thyrnau (Bavaria) in the revised August spreadsheet, and one for Bavarian Hipoltstein in the November spreadsheet.

    I do not know of an inverter able to convert that power and even get some Eurocents for the feed-in (“Einspeise Vergütung”) exclusive of system losses.

    For the range “entries for PV-systems” up till 1,000 kWp I found an amazing number of 292 installations in 2010. I really wonder if those are correct entries, and if yes, what kind of inverter these small systems have (we often use Steca 300 or 500, or Soladin600 in the Netherlands for those microsystems), and how these microsystems are metered.

  5. admin says:

    I spent more time reviewing and reconciling the data than on my brief post. I got 7.408 GWp total German PV Installations for 2010 using spreadsheets downloaded from the Bundesnetzagentur last evening.

    However, I was tipped to the discrepancy by Bernreuter Research. Both pv magazine and Photovoltaik posted corrections today.

    Peter, thanks as always for your contributions. I was also wondering about the 1 Wp “grid connected” systems. I was surprised by the extent of the revisions since I last looked at the data through August.

  6. Hahaha.

    Thank you very mucht Günther, for enlighting me. I just completely overlooked that September update in the separate, rather indiscriminate and “apparently unchanged” file. The publication policy of Bundesnetzagentur is far from transparent. They better should give separate month spreadsheets, as well as separate revised month spreadsheets, all with explicit date stamps on the webpage where the xls files could be downloaded.

    Did you notice, Günther, that the “revised September 2010 update” has a date stamp of December 23, 2010???!!! Thanks to this, I will even check more frequently there, just to be sure that no new “secretive changes” have been made…

    Well, I will have to turn back to the refresh and redrawal department and publish new graphs again on my website. Keeps one off the road.

    Further changes can be expected for the last 3 months of 2010. Maybe there will be some extra big surprises for all of us… 😉

  7. OK, complete graphic update INCLUSIVE of the strongly revised September 2010 data on my site. 7.408 MWp for 2010 it is, like Edgar said (always believe him first, so it seems…).

    For impact of the revision of September 2010 with respect to the original data for that month, see the roll-over image for day-to-day registrations with Bundesnetzagentur here:

    Rest of the edited graphs (and all the changed data) also on that webpage.

    Since September has been changed so much: what can we expect for the last three months of 2010? In particular for the “last chance month” December, before another 13% degression of feed-in tariffs was implemented?

    Keep two eyes on the Bundesnetzagentur website. The information must be given there, somewhere in the near future…

  8. Thanks Ed.

    Have been looking all over for this data (belatedly). I should have started here first.

    Regards, David

  9. Bundesnetzagentru: 266 MWp new installations in Germany in January 2011. Twenty percent more than the 222 MWp in January 2010.

    No revisions yet for October-December 2010.

  10. Bundesnetzagentur February 2011 update has been published for Germany, a disappointing 101 MWp with 3.671 new installations (date-stamp: May 18, 2011). “Worst” month since March 2009. Still no further revisions of Oct-Dec. 2010.

    Complete graphic update on Polder PV:

    It will be exciting to see development there. Bundesnetzagentur will have to publish the March up till May results as soon as possible to be able to adjust the feed-in-tariffs starting as of July 1, 2011. If growth will remain relatively low in those months, a scenario without adjustments is feasible.

  11. March and April have been published June 8, 2011. I extracted the data after my vacation (in Germany, of course, on bike), and updated my graphics page again (see other contributions for link).

    Bundesnetzagentur published a press communiqué (June 16), stating 700 MWp for March-May 2011. Hence, with data for first two months, 147,3 MWp for March and 202,3 MWp for April, May might have seen 350 MWp. Total new capacity for Jan. – May 2011: 1.067 MWp (that has been 1.744 MWp in 2010). Result of “meagre” harvest in March-May 2011: no extra feed-in degressions as per July 1 (or Sep. 1 for non-roof installations).

    However, the guns of the conservatives have been pulled out of the war room in Germany. No real improvements of the already announced screws on the EEG Novelle finally (?) decided upon today, and further threats of “Nachbesserung” (further “improvements”) such as capping the new allowed volume to 1-2 GWp a year…:

  12. Finally, the results for June-September 2011 have been released by Bundesnetzagentur (date stamps November 2, 2011). I just finished a complete graphical revision including all previous month updates from the agency. With lots of details on the statistics for the German market in 2011, up till September.

    Enjoy! (English spoken there)

    2011 preliminary: 3.357 MWp new capacity (Jan. – Sep.)
    Accumulation BMU / AGEE Zeitreihe (2010) plus BNA preliminary status January – September 2011: 20,6 GWp.

    If things turn out to be on the bright side in the final months for 2011, the 22 GWp threshold might be overcome. May well become reality, if there are more big guys like Q-Cells realizing 91 MWp (with their own PV-cells / modules) in just 8 weeks time (Briest, 60 km. west of Berlin, that should become Europe’s “biggest” end of the year) …;-)

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