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German Solar Enjoys Record 2023, Expects Continued Boom

The solar industry in Germany passed a major milestone last year and looks set to grow again amidst increased demand from homeowners.

Germany’s Federal Association of the Solar Industry (BSW) reports that over a million new solar units were installed in Europe’s largest economy last year.

Small, residential balcony units accounted for much of the growth, with around 270,000 plug-in solar units going operational in 2023. That was four times as many as in 2022. According to the Federal Network Agency, there were 85 percent more new solar power systems with a peak output of about 14 gigawatts on roofs and open spaces.

Half of the newly installed solar power capacity was in the residential sector, while approximately 31 percent was attributed to open-field photovoltaic systems, and around 18 percent to commercial rooftop solar installations. Germany currently boasts around 3.7 million solar power systems, generating approximately 62 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2023. That covers roughly 12 percent of the country's total power consumption.

The BSW anticipates that demand will keep running high in 2024, owing to rising electricity prices, attractive subsidies and the simplification of bureaucratic hurdles. The group says that over 1.5 million property owners are planning to install solar panels on their rooftops in 2024. A YouGov survey of over 1,000 property owners in mid-December found that 69 percent of those with suitable roof space can envision installing a solar system. Moreover, 16 percent foresee doing so within the next 12 months.

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