Photovoltaics in Germany – sunny prospects


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The fossil-nuclear energy supply in Germany is a phased-out model. The share of renewable energies is growing steadily: in 2000, the use of electricity was 6 percent, in 2020 it was 45.4 percent.

This means that the target for 2020 has already been exceeded by 15.4 percent. According to the coalition agreement, the share is to increase to 65 percent of gross electricity consumption by 2030.

Photovoltaics will make an important contribution to this. An annual photovoltaic expansion of around 5 gigawatts is planned. Companies can be beneficiaries of this development.

Renewable energies in Germany – wind power in the north, photovoltaics in the south

In Germany there is a pronounced gap in the generation of renewable energies. The north of the country offers powerful wind power production along the coasts of the North and Baltic Seas. However, the demand in the more rural regions of northern Germany is not sufficient and surpluses are generated. The industry-rich consumption centers in the metropolitan areas of the south can make good use of this energy. In order to bring the energy network into balance, a power line is to be built from the north to the south.

The gap in renewable energies can also be compensated for by expanding photovoltaics – and this is best done close to consumption in southern Germany. This is where the highest number of hours of sunshine are reached. Because the yields of a photovoltaic system depend to a large extent on solar radiation, sunny regions are predestined for this.

Energy mix Germany: To stabilize renewable energies

Both wind power and photovoltaics are subject to strong weather-related fluctuations. Their energy production does not coincide with demand, and there are no storage options. Consequently, electricity production from renewable energies must be stabilized. If it is possible to keep the installed capacities for photovoltaics and wind power in the same order of magnitude, their combination reduces the need for balancing.

Photovoltaics in the energy mix: There is still more to do

Photovoltaic systems already supply a significant part of the energy requirement in Germany. In 2020, photovoltaics covered around 9.2 percent of gross electricity consumption with electricity generation of 50.6 TWh – and the trend is rising. By using solar energy, around 227 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions were avoided in 2020.

Diverse measures for the integration of photovoltaic electricity

Adaptations of the energy system and the energy industry structures to the requirements of the energy transition are essential for the expansion of photovoltaics. For a technologically and economically successful integration of the volatile photovoltaic power into the energy system, a large number of complementary measures are required: stabilization of photovoltaic power generation, complementary operation of thermal power plants, increase in energy efficiency, load management, balanced expansion of photovoltaic and wind power capacities, grid expansion, electricity Combined heat and power, electromobility and energy storage.

Photovoltaics in Germany – Solar power generation is profitable

The generation of solar power is a worthwhile investment for companies. The companies usually have large areas available for the photovoltaic systems, such as flat roofs and open spaces. The solar cells convince with ever better efficiencies and at the same time the modules are becoming cheaper and cheaper. The feed-in tariff promises a positive return. Once the photovoltaic system has been installed, the companies have certainty in their calculations. The amount of the remuneration is fixed for 20 years.

Large photovoltaic systems are cheaper per installed kilowatt hour and their return is higher compared to small systems. Furthermore, large systems cover a higher proportion of the electricity requirement and are therefore an even better hedge against rising electricity prices.

Sustainable power generation in companies: Areva relies on photovoltaics

Areva has been investing in photovoltaic power generation since 2016. Since then, solar power production systems have been operated throughout Germany with a total annual output of 14 megawatts – the amount of electricity generated corresponds to the consumption of around 4,000 households. The generation of energy through photovoltaics is both promising and a useful addition to the Areva offers in the areas of trading, consulting and network services. For these reasons, the stock of generation capacities in the field of photovoltaics, but also other renewable energies, should be further expanded.

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The Areva Energie-Handels-Gesellschaft is the energy service provider for companies with many locations. As a reliable partner in all energy issues, we offer a wide range of services and added value that are always tailored to the needs of our customers.

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