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Germany: Is the PV Capacity Following the Money?
S. Plater, G. Boyle
PV Markets, Demand Drivers, Return on Investment
PV Deployment
Subtopic: Markets for PV Systems
Event: 24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, 21-25 September 2009, Hamburg, Germany
Session: 6DV.2.11
4445 - 4448
ISBN: 3-936338-25-6
Paper DOI: 10.4229/24thEUPVSEC2009-6DV.2.11
0,00 EUR
Document(s): paper


Are financial incentives such as feed-in tariffs the sole driver of PV capacity growth, as commonly implied in the literature? This research tests the hypothesis that incentives promote PV more by making it financeable than by making it lucrative. If profit is the principal driver, then PV capacity should predominantly be in locations which offer the highest investment return, namely where insolation and thus array output is higher. The dataset used comprises 1209 German communities participating in the 'Solar League' 2008-09. A mixed picture emerges. On some views of the data, correlation emerges between the location of PV capacity and projected array output (hence investment return). But on other views the two do not correlate. It is, however, in any event clear that substantial PV capacity has been installed in places where projected investment return is relatively low, consistent with the hypothesis. Continuing work includes a fieldwork survey in German communities of reasons for installing - or not installing - PV ; and investigating in what proportion of locations the projected investment return is above, similar to, or below saving account returns.