543.225 MWp of Newly Installed PV Capacity in July 2012 Brings Total to 29.7 GWp

In July 543.225 MWp of new PV capacity have been installed, the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) reported. German PV capacity in total amounted to 29.7 GWp by the end of July, with 4,916.647 MWp added this year.

The total of 29,701 MWp of PV capacity consists of 23,581 MWp added between 1 January 2009 and 31 July 2012 and 6,120 MWp installed before 1 January 2009, BNetzA informed.

The July additions mean that the staggering solar growth of the previous years continues. The expansion corridor of 2,500 to 3,500 MW per calendar year pursuant to the new Section 20a para. 1 Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) that was introduced with latest EEG amendment, has been well exceeded. The amendment seems to have contributed to the continuing growth. It reduced solar feed-in tariffs mainly as of 1 April 2012, but provided for certain grandfathering provisions, the last of which (for plants on conversion areas) will run out on 30 September 2012 (see Section 66 para. 18a sent. 2 EEG).

The rapid solar growth will lead to a further increase of the monthly reduction of the feed-in tariffs for solar power of 1% that began in May 2012 (see new Section 20b para. 1 EEG) as of 1 November 2012. Section 20b paras. 2 to 9 provide for a so-called breathing cap, according to which the monthly feed-in tariff reduction may increase or be reduced if certain thresholds are exceeded. The new hard cap of 52,000 MW may be reached sooner than anticipated.

Source: Federal Network Agency

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