Energy policy » 04.04.2014

Japanese solar feed-in tariffs too high

When Japan rolled out its feed-in tariffs for PV, one of my first concerns was the high level. We had seen other markets collapse because of the price impact, so the question was whether Japan would be the next solar market to go. One market expert now says the profit margin on solar in Japan is quite high. read more »

Changes for solar in Germany Foto: Lorenz

Energy policy » 03.04.2014

Changes for solar in Germany

While the German government does not specifically plan to change the design of feed-in tariffs for PV this year, the application of the renewables surcharge to solar power directly consumed does change things considerably. Today, we review what's in store, though the details are not completely clear. It seems the German government may have finally come around to the idea of reining in "grid defection." read more »

When does solar become disruptive

When does solar become disruptive

A recent presentation held by the CEO of Photon Consulting explains quite well how photovoltaics in particular is ruining conventional utility business models. Nonetheless, the level at which Michael Rogol says disruption starts to happen is a bit oversimplified. The term he needs is "peak demand parity." read more »

Austria imposes first levy on directly consumed solar Austria Solar/Sonnenkraft Österreich

Energy policy » 13.03.2014

Austria imposes first levy on directly consumed solar

At the beginning of the month, Austria imposed a charge of 1.5 cents per kilowatt-hour on solar power not exported to the grid, but consumed behind the grid connection. The charge is called a "grid levy." read more »

German wind + PV in January and February Bernard Chabot

Statistics » 06.03.2014

German wind + PV in January and February

Bernard Chabot is back today with an update of his overview of wind and solar power production data in Germany for the first two months of 2014. He also compares the findings to the situation in France. Among other things, the capacity factor of wind was around 40 percent in his home country, compared to around 25 percent in Germany. read more »

How to calculate PV Rainer Sturm

A guide » 05.03.2014

How to calculate PV

How do you calculate the capacity factor of a PV array? And what is a system performance ratio? Today, French energy expert Bernard Chabot provides some basic guidelines for those wishing to make such calculations. read more »

German PV history 2000-2013 JA Solar

German PV history 2000-2013

It's safe to say that Bernard Chabot has just put together the most comprehensive, detailed overview of Germany's PV market – still the largest in the world historically, though it fell to fourth place last year. Whether you want to know about system size (90 percent of German arrays are smaller than 30 kW) or the history of feed-in tariffs (which have dropped by 75 percent since 2004), you have come to the right place. read more »

3.3 GW of PV in 2013 in Germany Congery AG

Photovoltaics » 03.02.2014

3.3 GW of PV in 2013 in Germany

Germany's Network Agency has published PV installation figures for December 2013, showing that the country came in within its target corridor of 2.5-3.5 GW of newly installed solar capacity for the first time since the corridor was introduced. The solar sector nonetheless emphasizes the downside – the market shrank by more than 50 percent year-over-year. read more »

Germany’s new solar policy takes shape © SPD-Parteivorstand/ D. Butzmann/ F. Jaenicke/ S.Knoell/ B Kraehahn

Germany’s new solar policy takes shape

Yesterday, Germany’s new cabinet convened at an all-day retreat to flesh out its new policy proposals, including for renewables. The changes that affect photovoltaics are now partly being reported as a new retroactive solar tax. That’s not the case, but the reasons why take some explaining. read more »

What energy co-ops think about Gabriel's proposals

The new German government meets today for the first big round of talks about governing, now that the coalition has been finalized. We still do not know any details about how the Renewable Energy Act might be changed, but the national energy co-op organization has a number of bones to pick with the general direction. read more »