Analysts at market research firm EuPD Research are urging caution however: "In 2009, prices were in a freefall and the prospects of further price decreases stalled newly installed capacity. The year 2010 saw a completely different scenario and the discussion on cutting Feed in Tariffs (FIT) accelerated the market".
There have also been issues with registration and installation times, which according to EuPD "did not always coincide". There were a number of late registrations particularly in the month of January. The difference between the point in time of installation and reporting is not without effect. Degression for the following year is calculated on the current status of registered capacity in the months June, July, August and September. “Market development in 2010 has been determined by external factors which have both artificially accelerated the market and slowed it down. It has yet to be seen if market volume can actually be calculated on the months where these external factors had the biggest impact,” says Markus A.W. Hoehner, CEO of EuPD Research.
“Most agree that the year 2010 will indeed be a record year for the German market” adds Hoehner. The analysts of the market research institute based in Bonn assume that installed volume in Q2 2010 will be over 2.5 GW. They anticipate a total volume of 5.5 GW for the whole year.
Increase largely attributed to small and medium sized systems
As expected, the individual market sectors have not experienced significant change. The small and medium systems sector is, by far, the strongest. Fifty five percent of installed capacity, and with that 91% of installed systems, were accounted for by systems less than 50 kW.
The average system size for the first quarter of 2010 was approximately 23.2 kW, in comparison to 23.8 kW last year. “We will see a temporary shift towards large systems in Q2 2010“ says Markus A.W. Hoehner. The upcoming discontinuation of subsidies for farmland is the deciding factor here. There have also been no major developments with regard to a regional increase in newly installed capacity since last year. Bavaria remains the strongest regional market, and the most dynamic market is to be found in Schleswig Holstein.
Even with the reduction to the FIT, the market will not collapse, he believes: “Some installers are now taking a short break after working non-stop for the last 9 months. However, by August demand will increase again. In the second half of the year, the market will be mainly driven by small systems” concludes Hoehner in his projections for the coming months.