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German P.V. installations hit record high in 2012

New solar photovoltaic installations in Germany reached a record high in 2012 despite cuts in subsidies.

According to a Reuters report, data from the Federal Environment Ministry showed that Germany’s solar P.V. installationa increased by more than 7.6 gigawatts in 2012, surpassing the previous records of 7.5 GW in 2011 and 7.4 GW in 2010.

The booming solar industry in Germany is usually attributed to the generous feed-in tariffs the country has for solar.

However, it has become a political issue as businesses protest that the transition from nuclear power toward subsidized renewable is causing additional costs to consumers and risking economic prosperity.

The government subsequently trimmed down the F.I.T.s by 2.5 percent between November 2012 and January 2013.

Despite this, approximately 435 MW of solar was still added in November and 360 MW in December.

"This shows that the amendment is working," according to an environment ministry spokesperson.

Nevertheless, the installations were relatively lower than the 611 MW recorded in October.

Germany accounts for most of the P.V. capacity of the European Union, with 25 GW as of 2011. About 18 terawatt hours of electricity was generated from these installations, or roughly three percent of the country’s overall electricity.

By this year, the ministry expects to add another 3.5 to 4 GW solar installed capacity. – EcoSeed Staff

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