Only 163MW new German PV in April

Only 163MW of new PV capacity was installed in Germany in April, according to figures from the country's federal grid agency.

That brings new PV installations to 623MW from January through April 2014, compared to 1.14GW during the same period last year.

If the trend were to continue at the same pace, Germany would add only some 1.87GW in new PV capacity this year, a far cry from the 3.3GW it installed in 2013, and a fraction of the more than 7GW added each year between 2010 and 2012.

Germany's government in plans for a reform of the country's Renewable Energies Act (EEG) has set a target of 2.5GW in new PV installations each year.

Solar groups have long complained that a too rapid fall in feed-in tariffs coupled with insecurity in the market through ongoing discussions about policy changes have pushed down new installation numbers.

Monthly installation figures have in the past been rather volatile, however, so it may still be possible that PV additions gain pace again.

"I still believe that after the EEG (reform) will finally be issued at the beginning of August, the market will clear up and I see a huge upcoming demand," Udo Mörhstedt, chief executive at German developer IBC Solar, said at an executive panel at the Intersolar conference in Munich.

Part of that demand will come from self-consumption, Mörhstedt said, but added that this section of the market could be weakened if government plans go ahead to introduce a levy on the consumption of self-produced energy.

The measure is currently being debated in Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, as part of the EEG reform.

But it has been rejected in great part by the country's less influential upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat.