by Mark Osborne, 26 May 2009
According to EuPD Research’s estimations made in the new study: ‘The German PV Market Understand the Demand – Explore the Potential,’ two gigawatts of modules will be installed in Germany in 2009, restoring the country as the largest solar market in the world. Due to the strong private rooftop market in Germany, the market research firm believes that a total of 99GWp could be installed before saturation. The report has been issued to coincide with the largest solar event in the world, Intersolar 2009, being held this week in Munich, Germany.
By 2008, more than 300,000 solar systems had been installed on one-family or multi-family houses in Germany under the “Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz” program, with a cumulated power output of approximately 1.5GWp. The private rooftop segment now comprises around 30% of the total market in Germany and larger than the agricultural and commercial segments, according to EuPD.
The private rooftop sector therefore still holds massive potential for the future and has not been fully exploited yet. According to conservative estimations, a total of 42.2GWp could be installed on Germany’s rooftops – thus the segment would have a saturation of 3.5%, EuPD said. However, a less restrictive prediction, which takes into account technological developments and an increasing share of adequate roof area, could result in the wider use of larger and more efficient modules, resulting in a volume of up to 99 GWp and a saturation decrease of 1.5%.
“In the starting years the technology for solar power generation was interesting for ecological motivated customers primarily. In the future the technology has to be communicated as yield secured investment to activate new customer groups,” noted Jan Winkler of EuPD Research.
However, there are challenges ahead for private rooftop installations. In particular, the need to have skilled installers and infrastructure in northern regions of Germany as the current trend has been for installations in the southern regions due to higher irradiance.