The German Solar Energy PV Market

Germany has been leading the way towards a healthy solar energy market for some years now. Despite the global economic crisis, and a decreasing feed-in tariff, the German market has been reporting growth figures of around 20-30% per year.

German installers certainly have sufficient reason to be optimistic with lower prices for solar energy systems sparking new consumer interest. According to the results of the BSW's recent business climate index, solar companies' commercial expectations are at their highest level since measurement began back in 2005.

"Many companies had a bumpy year, but can now see light at the end of the tunnel," said BSW-Solar CEO Carsten Krnig of the results. In 2008, Germany installed approximately 300,000 new solar systems with a total peak power of about 1.5 gigawatts.

Another study of German citizens showed that one in five home owners is thinking about buying a solar system in the short-term. The solar industry is one of the few industries to have reported growth this year. Sales of solar energy systems grew by ten percent in the first quarter of 2009 compared to the same period last year.

A proof of sustainability will be the upcoming elections in September. Will the successful feed-in tariff survive the possibility of a new government coalition with the FDP? Furthermore, a bright prospect for the German solar market does not automatically mean prosperity for the German solar industry. In the current oversupply situation, heavy competition is expected from Asian countries, with some manufacturers selling modules at below cost price.

The future of the German market, and the dynamics in other top ten markets, will be discussed at the third Global PV Demand Conference in Hamburg on 22 September 2009.

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