On June 28, 2023, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection published the draft for Solarpaket I, marking the beginning of a hearing.
The draft introduces several key changes aimed at promoting photovoltaic (PV) installations and capitalizing on the growing demand for micro inverters. Notably, the draft increases the capacity threshold for balcony PV systems exempt from approval from 600W to 800W. This adjustment is expected to stimulate the sales of micro inverters. Additionally, the requirement for a two-way electricity meter is eliminated for balcony PV systems with a capacity below 800W. During the transition period, existing meters can continue to be used. If the proposed changes for approval-free PV installations come into effect, it will expand the German market for balcony PV systems and enhance the value of inverters for each balcony. Moreover, the German Association of Electrical Engineers (VDE) has been working on a document to raise the power limit for balcony PV systems exempt from approval to 800W since the beginning of the year. As a result, some distributors and customers have been waiting to see the outcome in the first half of the year. If the draft released by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection is implemented, the pent-up demand for these systems will be quickly released, benefiting the sales volume of micro inverters.
The draft also provides clear targets for PV installed capacity over the next four years. According to the proposed plan, Germany aims to achieve 9GW, 13GW, 18GW, and 22GW of PV installation capacity from 2023 to 2026, respectively. In 2022, Germany saw an increase of 7.3GW in PV capacity. With the target in place, the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is projected to reach as high as 32% over the next four years, boosting market confidence in PV installation development.
Furthermore, the draft encourages the development of distributed PV systems. Previously, surplus electricity generated by PV systems larger than 100kW had to be sold to the grid. However, if the proportion of surplus electricity was low, it could result in negative returns, where revenue from selling the surplus power was less than the wheeling cost of the power flow. To address this, the draft proposes exempting PV systems from the wheeling cost of power flow, enabling them to transfer surplus electricity to the grid for free. The draft also expands the scope of the simplified grid connection procedure, which was previously limited to PV systems under 10.8kW, to include systems under 30kW. Additionally, self-consumption of PV power within the same building is encouraged to promote energy self-sufficiency. In July, module production has shown improvement month-on-month, and the TOPCon industry chain remains flexible.