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Germany adds 2.4 GW new solar, 919 MW wind capacity in H1 2020

Highlights

Solar adds 437 MW in June to bring total to 51.5 GW

694 MW new onshore, 225 MW new offshore capacity in H1

RES covered 50% in H1 mix, wind, solar top July again

London — Some 437 MW of new solar and 120 MW of wind capacity were added in Germany in June, data from grid regulator BNetzA showed July 31.

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This brings combined capacity additions in the first half of 2020 to 3.3 GW, with only a limited impact from the coronavirus pandemic so far.

Total installed solar capacity stood at 51.5 GW as of end-June with the 52 GW subsidy ceiling cancelled by parliament last month removing a hurdle for the roof-top solar segment, still accounting for the majority of solar capacity.

Wind additions continue to lag behind government targets, but onshore additions started to recover from historic lows in 2019 with the 694 MW new additions in the first six months almost doubling on year.

Offshore wind was set for a gap with the 225 MW new offshore added representing the final projects under feed-in tariffs, while the first projects awarded via auction will only come online 2022.

Wind lobby BWE forecasts 2020 net onshore wind growth of at least 1.5 GW, it said July 29.

Net additions for H1 were pegged at 507 MW, still topping the European leaderboard despite historically low growth rates as new project permits plunged following the rush for feed-in tariffs until 2018.

Total installed offshore capacity was 54.4 GW, according to BWE, with another 7.8 GW offshore.

Germany's federal government boosted long-term wind prospects lifting the 2030 offshore target by 5 GW to 20 GW and watering down onshore wind turbine distance-to-housing rules with a proposed nationwide minimum one kilometer distance rule not included in federal law.

That leaves states to set their own planning rules. Lower Saxony, which has among the highest wind resources, aims to bring forward a 20 GW target to 2030.

Wind and solar again were the two biggest single sources of electricity in Germany in July ahead of lignite coal and gas, TSO data aggregated by Fraunhofer ISE show July 31.

German wind generated 81 TWh so far this year with solar pegged at 35 TWh. By contrast, German hard coal generation plunged to 16 TWh for H1 2020.

German renewables (including biomass, hydro) covered a record 50.2% in the power mix in Europe's biggest economy in the first half of 2020, official data by utility group BDEW show.