“Germany is the world’s top photovoltaics (PV) installer, with a solar PV capacity as of December 2012 of more than 32.3 gigawatts (GW). The German new solar PV installations increased by about 7.6 GW in 2012, and solar PV provided 18 TWh (billion kilowatt-hours) of electricity in 2011, about 3% of total electricity. Some market analysts expect this could reach 25 percent by 2050. Germany has a goal of producing 35% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020 and 100% by 2050. Large PV power plants in Germany include Senftenberg Solarpark, Finsterwalde Solar Park, Lieberose Photovoltaic Park, Strasskirchen Solar Park, Waldpolenz Solar Park, and Köthen Solar Park.
The German solar PV industry installed 7.6 GW in 2012 and 7.5 GW in 2011, and solar PV provided 18 TWh of electricity in 2011, about 3% of total electricity. On midday of Saturday May 26, 2012, solar energy provided over 40% of total electricity consumption in Germany, and 20% for the 24h-day. The federal government has set a target of 66 GW of installed solar PV capacity by 2030, to be reached with an annual increase of 2.5–3.5 GW, and a goal of 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2050. From 3.5 GW to 4 GW are expected to be installed in 2013. Solar power in Germany has been growing considerably due to the country’s feed-in tariffs for renewable energy which were introduced by the German Renewable Energy Act. Prices of PV systems have decreased more than 50% in 5 years since 2006.As of 2012, the FiT costs about 14 billion euros (US$18 billion) per year for wind and solar installations. The cost is spread across all rate-payers in a surcharge of 3.6 €ct (4.6 ¢) per kWh (approximately 15% of the total domestic cost of electricity). On the other hand, as expensive peak power plants are displaced, the price at the power exchange is reduced due to the so-called merit order effect. German electricity generationGermany set a world record for solar power production with 22 GW produced at midday on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 May 2012. This was a third of peak electricity needs on Friday and almost half on Saturday. A feed-in tariff is the most effective means of developing solar power. It is the same as a power purchase agreement, but is at a much higher rate. As the industry matures, it is reduced and becomes the same as a power purchase agreement. A feed-in tariff allows investors a guaranteed return on investment – a requirement for development. A primary difference between a tax credit and a feed-in tariff is that the cost is born the year of installation with a tax credit, and is spread out over many years with a feed-in tariff. In both cases the incentive cost is distributed over all consumers. This means that the initial cost is very low for a feed-in tariff and very high for a tax credit. In both cases the learning curve reduces the cost of installation, but is not a large contribution to growth, as grid parity is still always reached. Accommodating high percentages of wind and solar Germany had not installed adequate storage to accommodate high percentages of wind and solar power and in 2012 is exporting peak generation to neighboring countries. Approximately 9 GW of photovoltaic plants in Germany are being retrofitted to shut down if the frequency increases to 50.2 Hz, indicating an excess of electricity on the grid. The frequency is unlikely to reach 50.2 Hz during normal operation, but can if Germany is exporting power to countries that suddenly experience a power failure. This happened in 2003 and 2006. The frequency of the grid is available on the Internet.”