The Federal Network Agency has confirmed a record annex of 7.5 gigawatts in 2011.

There has been a significant growth in the large-scale segment.

Bonn, (PresseBox) - The agency has now published the data for the PV system sharp annex in the fourth quarter. Contrary to certain rumors about double reporting the provisional figure of 7,500 MWp published in January has now been confirmed. Just in December 2,980 MWp has been reported. 41% of these plants account for the class size above 1 MWp. Compared to last year, the segment above 1 MWp has grown by a factor of 1.6. However in the mid-size segment, the market has slowed down significantly.

Bonn. The recently published facility capacities by the Federal Network Agency confirms the reports from January. In 2011 there was about 238,000 units installed in total, with a nominal capacity of 7,481 MWp. Last year there were about 250,000 units with 7,412 MWp. With an eye on the expansion of the federal states, Bavaria leads with 1,750 MWp followed surprisingly by Brandenburg with 1,000 MWp. This regional shift is largely due to the expansion of open space systems.

More meaningful than the aggregate figures for the overall market, is an analysis at the segment level, which clearly shows where the differences lie. The market has slowed down noticeably, especially in the class sizes between 10 KWp and 50 KWp. While in 2010 in this same class size over 2,600 MWp were installed, it was reduced to almost 2,000 MWp in 2011 showing a decline of 22%.

Regional comparison: Major changes to the previous year

The regional comparison also shows significant changes to the previous year. In Bavaria, Baden Wüttenberg and Schleswig-Holstein, the market volume has decreased in comparison to last year. In the east, a significant increase has been observed. This increase was driven primarily by large-scale systems. However, in the eastern states the smaller and medium sized plants have also shown positive growth rates. The segment with less than 10 kWp have grown in all provinces except Baden-Wüttenberg.

Overall, the established states seem to be in retreat. The first signs of saturation may be a possible explanation for this but the strong growth rates at the end of the year tend to suggest that the demand is still healthy. According to Rene Mund, analyst at market research and public opinion researchers EuPD Research in Bonn, even the much so revived demand in the first quarter of 2012 does not suggest a saturation of the market. From EuPD Research’s perspective an even stronger fourth quarter in 2011 would have been possible had it not been for limited availability and capacity among installers.

Realignment necessary: “Companies need to move.”

The ongoing discussion about the adaption of promotion has heated up the market but rather artificially. According to EuPD research analysts the impending cuts have brought about the opposite of what was initially intended. 3,000 MW in the first 3 months was a plausible scenario so a renewed debate on the level of funding can be expected. The subject of direct marketing is also seen as being important. In addition, it can be assumed that increasing decentralized storage solutions will come on the market in the future. The continued existence of the EEG is assumed to be moved by over 90% of newly installed capacity in the EEG.

According to Jan Winkler of CleanTech 360 Consult, the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) for PV systems has reached a level that makes it theoretically possible to operate plants outside the EEG. Also, special power purchase agreements (PPA’s) are a possible alternative. He also said however that appropriate business models have not yet been developed. The fact that the industry is moving, however, must become apparent. Many companies have missed a clear reorientation here. The speed at which this conversion is possible largely determines success or failure

Forecasts and market data: EuPD Research forecasts 5.9 gigawatts.

The market volume in 2012 will have less mechanisms of activation but will rather depend on future price trends. Prices have stabilized in March and in April the price is not expected to drop. According to EuPD this is not expected to take place before July. A free, detailed analysis of market data and additional information on the current price developments can be found here.

Currently EuPD research forecasts a capacity increase in 2012 of approx. 5.9 gigawatts. The latest market developments and new capacities, including forecasts of the segment levels are also a key part of this year’s 5. German PV Market Briefing in 2012 which will be held on 18th April 2012 in the banking metropolis of Frankfurt. The event is aimed at decision makers in the sector of politics, economics and science and serves as a platform for the exchange of market information and backgrounds.

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EuPD Research - Hoehner Research & Consulting Group GmbH

EuPD Research is a market and opinion researcher for media and companies. As a full-service provider with a highly specialized interview center, we offer a wide range of quantitative and qualitative research services. We create market studies, sector reports, and business climate indices and use this information to develop target-oriented decision support for our customers. In the process, we draw upon an expert network of scientists, decision makers and media representatives.

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