According to new statistics released by the Environment Ministry, a great growth in new solar power was experienced. Seven point six (7.6) gigawatts (GW) of new capacity were installed by Germany. Because subsidies (the country’s feed-in tariffs for solar) were reduced, new installations decreased to a certain degree towards the end of the year.
Overcoming the earlier records of 7.5 GW in 2011 and 7.4 GW in 2010, the total solar-energy generation capacity there grew by over 7.6 GW. These large growths in capacity were caused by the country’s feed-in tariffs as Reuters has reported that these were guaranteed to generate for 20 years to boost carbon-free power to gradually replace fossil fuels.
Some businesses in the country have recently protested that the phase-out of nuclear power and subsequent replacement with subsidized renewable, was endangering economic growth.
By cutting the level of feed-in tariffs, the conservative government has decided to address these worries, in order to delay the rate of new installations, until solar was cheaper than other presently used forms of energy. Between November 1, 2012 and January 31, 2013, tariffs were then reduced by 2.5% a month.
In the final quarter of 2012, these cuts gave rise to total new installed capacity to be fewer than a fifth of the total for the year; 611 megawatts (MW) had been installed in October, 435 MW in November and 360 MW in December. This showed pretty evidently that the cuts were working. Total new installed solar-energy generating capacity for 2013 is predicted to be between 3.5 GW and 4 GW by the Environment Ministry.
In 2012, the association of solar producers reports that, its members delivered 8 million homes with power, 45 % more than in 2011, and accounted for 5 % of total power usage.
Source: Clean Technica