The Cost of Photovoltaics in Germany

2011 was a very successful year for the German photovoltaics industry. More than 7500 MW of new capacity joined the electricity grid all over the country. This was the highest amount of newly installed solar capactiy ever. Germany is going green, faster than ever before.

The increasing trend to use solar PV, however, comes at a price. Every kWh of solar electricity which is fed into the grid is currently subsidised with 3.59 cEUR. For every newly installed PV facility subsidies are guaranteed for 20 years. According to a paper by the RWI (Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung), a German economy think tank, subsidies for photovoltaics will amount to about 18 billion EUR during the next few years. In total, the entire financial support given to the solar industry so far adds up to 100 billion EUR since the year 2000.  This corresponds to about 4 % of Germany´s GDP in 2010.

If the solar boom continues these figures are likely to rise. This means that electricity consumers will have to pay higher energy bills in order to support green technologies. Currently an average consumer (4500 kWh per year) would, thus, have to pay some 160 EUR on top of his/her electricity bill annually.

 

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