Staggering Solar PV Growth in Germany in 2005

By Paul Gipe


In a powerful display of how electricity feed laws can drive rapid development of solar energy, Germany installed $4 billion CAD of solar photovoltaics (PV) last year. This follows nearly $3 billion CAD installed in 2004.

Germany has now overtaken Japan as the world’s largest PV market.

In 2005, Germany generated 1 billion kilowatt-hours of solar electricity and the solar industry expects this to rise to nearly 3 billion kilowatt-hours by 2011.

Ontario consumes 150 billion kWh per year.

Germany now operates some 1,400 megawatts (MW) of solar generation, more than all the renewable energy contracts awarded in Ontario to date, and more than twice all the wind turbines currently operating in Canada.

30,000 are now employed in the Germany solar-electric industry.

More than 200,000 home, business, and farms in Germany have installed solar cells on their roof tops.

In addition, the German solar industry estimates that solar domestic hot water heaters produce an additional 4,700 MW of thermal capacity from more than 800,000 solar DHW systems.

The Canadian Solar Industries Association estimates that there is the potential for 1,300 MW of solar generation on roof tops in Toronto alone.

Provincial minister of Energy Donna Cansfield was recently reported as saying that a new policy is in the offing that could help Ontario homeowners and businesses install solar systems.