Riesige PV-Anlage in Marl: Auf dem Sonnendeck

WIf you have ever looked over the rooftops of Frankfurt, you may have spotted the exhibition halls that stretch across large parts of the Europaviertel. On Hall 12, there are 5,300 modules spread out over an area the size of a football field – that’s quite a lot. The roof area of the two logistics halls, which the wholesaler Metro has now equipped with photovoltaic modules, is 14 times larger – a gigantic area. Just a few kilometers away from the coal power plant in Marl, the largest solar installation in Germany now stands on a roof – a symbol of the energy transition.

The photovoltaic industry is booming all over Germany. In the first half of the year alone, approximately 465,000 new solar installations with a capacity of 6500 megawatts have been put into operation, a 64 percent increase compared to the same period last year. Speed is urgently needed considering the ambitious expansion targets set by the federal government – 22 gigawatts of new installations each year starting from 2026. However, there is no reason for euphoria as the large number of installations suggests that it is mainly the expansion of homeowners that is booming.

Es gibt noch viele Möglichkeiten für die Umstellung auf erneuerbare Energien.

Many companies, however, hesitate. For them, the installation and operation of a solar system are worthwhile, especially if they consume a large portion of the generated electricity themselves. According to a representative Yougov survey published by the Federal Association of Solar Industry last autumn, more than a third of companies are planning to install a photovoltaic system on their roof.

However, many companies – especially those with limited opportunities for self-consumption – have not yet implemented their plans. They struggle with rising interest rates, which make financing through the market premium significantly less attractive. The numerous requirements for grid connection, which can vary greatly from state to state and from network operator to network operator (almost 900 in total in Germany), are also not helpful. This fragmentation of regulations is not particularly beneficial.

The federal government has already implemented some measures to reduce bureaucracy with the solar package. They need to continue working on this. Currently, only one-tenth of the roof surfaces of commercial enterprises, which are theoretically suitable for photovoltaic systems, are equipped with them. There is still a lot of potential for the energy transition in this area.