Germany’s solar market surged by 30% to close to 4GW in new installations in 2019 amid falling prices for PV panels while overall power prices rose.

An intensifying climate debate and expanding e-mobility also helped, the solar industry federation (BSW) said.

With that, the overall installed solar capacity in Europe’s largest economy reached close to 50GW at the end of the year. That was enough to meet about 9% of net electricity consumption – one of the highest solar penetration ratios in the world.

The expansion was above the 2.5GW in additions in 2018, and by far exceeded the 1.75GW in new installations in 2017.

Nevertheless, the BSW called for a tripling in annual additions in order to reach Germany’s 2030 climate targets.

“Without a clearly faster expansion of renewable energies there is a risk of a power generation gap already in the first half of the 20’s in the wake of the nuclear and coal exits,” BSW managing director Carsten Körnig said.

He urged the government to live up to a commitment given in the wake of a climate law debate this fall to scrap a cap on solar support that originally was foreseen once 52W in capacity are reached.

“The abolition of the solar cap must be completed in January,” König said, adding that otherwise the expansion of roof-top PV will come to a halt in the spring.

Generation costs of new roof-top solar have dropped to below 10 euro cents per kilowatt hour, and to about five cents per kilowatt hour in new ground-based PV arrays, the BSW said. That compares to an electricity price for households of above 30 cents per kWh in Germany.