The easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in Germany helped the addition of almost 121.4 MW of new large scale solar generation capacity in May, with 33 ground-mounted projects coming online, according to the latest monthly figures published by federal network agency the Bundesnetzagentur.
Those big solar facilities were part of a year high of more than 446 MW of new solar added in Germany during the month, for almost 1,926 MW this year.
May’s bumper return might have been boosted by solar owners skeptical of a German government pledge, made last year, to remove legislation halting public subsidies for systems with a generation capacity of up to 750 kW once a capacity limit of 52 GW was reached. As a result, private and commercial rooftop systems scrambling to beat any imposition of the cap were the main driver of the market in May – no fewer than 321 MW of the 446 MW of new capacity was accounted for by subsidized rooftop systems.
Ultimately, Germany reached a cumulative 50.88 GW of such subsidized capacity by the end of May, according to the Bundesnetzagentur, and the Bundestag lower house of parliament this month finally removed the solar cap as part of a Building Energy Act which is due to be considered by the Bundesrat upper house next week.
The subsidy will reduce by another 1.4% from tomorrow as its level is geared to new capacity additions.