Skip to content

German Solar Industry Runs Out Of Steam

April 27, 2018

By Paul Homewood


Repost from NoTricksZone:


Michael Kruger at German skeptic site Science Skeptical here writes about how solar energy indutry in Germany has disintegrated spectacularly.

What follows are 4 charts that show us some shocking trends, and how in reality the German solar industry has seen a bloodbath that can be rated as one of the worst in a long time. The reality is that Germany’s green revolution is far from being a model for the world.


Solar share of electricity falls

The first chart shows solar energy as a share of gross electricity production:

Share of German electricity produced by solar power fell in 2016. Chart: Statistica

The chart above shows the share of solar energy of total electricity production peaked in 2015 and the trend has since levelled off.


Subsidies and investments get slashed

In the next chart, the rate of the addition of new solar power production systems has plummeted. In 2012 over 7000 megawatts of new solar capacity were added.

German solar boom crashed into a wall. Chart: Bund der Energieverbraucher.

But in 2012 the boom ended abruptly as new laws on feed-in rates were enacted in order to keep the solar energy supply from going out of control. In 2017, only 600 megawatts of new capacity were expected to be added. That’s a 90% drop!

Read the full story here.

  1. markl permalink
    April 27, 2018 3:33 pm

    First comment to the cited article says it all…

    “AndyG55 21…….Peak Solar.!!!!!! Happens as soon as the subsidies and feed-in mandates are abolished.”

  2. April 27, 2018 6:10 pm

    Seems the Germans have woken up. Just hope we in the U.K. do the same.

    • Curious George permalink
      April 28, 2018 12:29 am

      Enjoy sunny Germany and their FreiKoerperKultur beaches!

    • April 28, 2018 6:05 am

      In January 2012, Jürgen Grossmann, then the CEO of RWE AG, a giant German power producer, told a conference that solar power in Germany “makes as much sense as growing pineapples in Alaska.” He was replaced as CEO shortly thereafter.

      It takes a long time for a sensible message to get through to the idiots running the asylum.

      • April 28, 2018 5:12 pm

        One just wonders what went wrong with the educational system back in the 60s. We withdraw our children from the State system around that time as we were worried. A colleague of mine remarked: “ Well it’s OK for your kids; but what of those left behind? – They will be running the country in 40 years time!”
        How prescient he was.

    • keith permalink
      April 28, 2018 9:31 am

      I think it’s unlikely our Government will wake up with Perry running energy and if Corbyn gets in it will be even worse.

  3. HotScot permalink
    April 27, 2018 6:35 pm

    I have been looking at houses in Scotland for when my wife and I retire in 5 years or so, sell up in SE England, and go home.

    Many of them are bedecked with solar panels I suspect the loony SNP’s are still encouraging. These suckers will get one hell of a fright when the panels are seen as a liability rather than the money making scam they bought into.

    I should be able to knock several thousand pounds off the cost a suitably equipped house, and it’ll only cost me a few hundred quid to have them removed.

    #laughing all the way to the bank.

    • Ben Vorlich permalink
      April 28, 2018 10:38 am

      When you think about it, and if there is no additional cost in buying a house in Scotland which some other person paid for PV panels then for someone retired solar might not be a bad addition.

      I’ve no idea what sort of leisure activities you will be doing but it is certain you’ll be at home more than you are now. Even in Scotland there will be time when the output from the roof will reach 30% of claimed capacity. If you haven’t paid anything for the panels then whatever they produce is “free” to you. With LED lights you should get enough power to light the house and run a fridge/freezer a least part time. I’m guessing that there will be times when the output is virtually nil for a 24 hour period, but even in winter a standard 5 panel (which seems to be about average in UK) will produce ~500W for a few hours.

      One of the things I didn’t like about living in an old house with small windows in Central Perthshire was the semi-darkness inside, no electricity at that time. I still don’t like working indoors (I make model boats from kits as a hobby) in the gloom. For me in similar circumstances today, lights would be on most of the time, along with the radio.

      Unless your objection is safety or moral grounds then I’d leave them on. You don’t have to sell excess power to the grid, you could heat a green house with it and grow tomatoes, the Clyde Valley was once covered in greenhouses producing tomatoes thanks to cheap coal.

      That’s my 5p worth.

      • HotScot permalink
        April 28, 2018 6:31 pm


        An extremely well invested 5p, may I say.

        I have no intention of not selling the electricity produced from solar panels mounted on any house I might buy.

        I will sell it back, and I would encourage anyone else to do the same if they are subsidised to do so. The moral implication is that I’m taking money from poor taxpayers to fund my ‘lavish’ life.

        However, I maintain that if a government policy is wrong, there’s no point in objecting to it using morality, as far as governments are concerned, morality is a one way street, they preach it, but don’t listen to it.

        So the only way to reach a government is through it’s bank balance. In which case, in order to object to an insane policy, one must take advantage of that policy to create the most damage.

        The SNP is happy to waste money subsidising almost anything that moves, I say, we should all be piling in to bankrupt the useless bunch of freeloaders!

        So when I buy a house, I’ll be milking the solar panels for all they’re worth, until they expire, then I’ll rip them off the roof. Then I’ll expect a subsidy (at least) from the SNP to dispose of them responsibly.

        Whilst taking advantage of the renewable scam, I won’t unnecessarily perpetuate it.

        #More than one way to skin a cat!

  4. April 27, 2018 6:36 pm

    The more solar is added to the grid, the greater the instability thereof whenever the sun is out for any length of time. Or not out, in the case of the sun setting 😉

  5. April 27, 2018 9:56 pm

  6. bobn permalink
    April 28, 2018 12:36 am

    There is always one winner and at least 2 losers to a subsidy scheme. First loser to solar subsidies is the taxpayer who foots the bill; remember the Govt has no money except that which it confiscates. The second loser is the competitor to those being subsidised. So Solar Panel subsidies have prevented cheaper and more reliable energy generators being built. But there is a third loser group in the subsidies to Solar farms, and thats farmers and the economy. These solar farms are built with Govt subsidies on some of the best, sunniest southfacing acres in southern England. The opportunity cost is that this prime agricultural land is taken away from horticulture. Solar Subsidy farming is denying us the opportunity to expand our farming industry which provides sustained employment (how many workers employed on 10acres of berry farming compared to 10 acres of solar panels?). Then those berries could have been manufactured into cordials or liquers with added economic value and employment, and could have been exported. All prevented by the economic distortions of solar farm subsidies. It is a scandal that the Govt promotes unemployment via farming for subsidies, and impedes increasing employment and farming for food!

  7. April 28, 2018 5:58 am

    It’s the same for the subsidies for Anaerobic Digesters, which mean that vast areas of previously productive farmland are used for the mono-culture of crops to produce energy instead of food.

  8. April 28, 2018 6:06 am

    It is nearly 9months since RegenSW should have produced its latest renewable energy progress report. It is obvious that they would be embarrassed to show that progress has ground to a halt since subsidies were removed.

  9. Bitter@twisted permalink
    April 28, 2018 8:22 am

    What a surprise. Not.
    Take away the subsidy and all of a sudden this “competitive”, green technology is not viable.
    Unfortunately the government pinheads are unable to “learn lessons”.

  10. April 28, 2018 11:02 am

    Cleve Hill Solar Park will deliver intermittent electricity to 110,000 UK homes every year, at a cost of £400 million, for its 30 year lifespan from a site 1.9 km x 1.9 km in size.

    Hinkley Point C [HPC] nuclear power plant will deliver 24/7 electricity to 7,187,690 UK homes every year, at a cost of £18,000 million, for its 60 year design life from a site 0.8 km x 0.8 km in size.

    It would take 65 Cleve Hill-sized solar parks to deliver the same amount of [intermittent] electricity every year as the [24/7] electricity generated by HPC every year. That would cost £26,000 million and occupy an area 15.3 km x 15.3 km in size.

    The 65 solar parks would have to be built a 2nd time to supply for 60 years as HPC will, at a total capital cost of £52,000 million.

    After 30 years, the 1,150,000 or so solar panels, measuring 2 m x 1 m would have to be land-filled and that would require a pit digging about 1 m deep, occupying an area of about 1 km x 1 km, which somebody would have to pay for.

    • keith permalink
      April 28, 2018 11:20 am

      You don’t expect those ‘pin heads’ referred to earlier to think about disposal of worn out solar panels or wind turbine blades do you. That would mean using some common sense. God knows what they are going to do with that stuff, which as far as I’ve read cannot be recycled. Lovely waste problem building up which I suppose as usual the tax payer will have to fork out for.

  11. RAH permalink
    April 28, 2018 6:03 pm

    How could anyone that has stayed informed really be surprised by this? First Spain, now Germany. NEXT?

  12. Gerry, England permalink
    April 30, 2018 12:39 pm

    Some 80000 have lost their jobs as German solar panel companies have gone bust. No great sympathy from me – if you work in a job made possible by subsidy there will always be the risk that it will go when the subsidy goes. They might now do something productive unless the industries they might have worked in have been driven elsewhere by high electricity costs.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: