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Germany's solar installations up 35% in early 2024

Floating photovoltaic power plant in Haltern am See

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany's solar power installation rose by 35% year-on-year in the first four months of 2024, boosted by a rise in industrial, commercial and ground-mounted photovoltaics demand, solar power association BSW said on Tuesday.

Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the sudden drop in Russian fossil fuel exports to Germany, Berlin has introduced several pieces of legislation to accelerate solar power expansion, part of Berlin's plan to cover 80% of its energy needs from renewables by 2030 and to become climate neutral by 2045.

New solar power capacity grew by more than five gigawatts (GW) in the first third of this year, as 56% of businesses and over 60% of real estate owners in Europe's biggest economy are interested in investing in solar power systems, BSW said, citing a May survey by YouGov.

BSW said it expects a double-digit percentage growth in installations and solar storage capacity in 2024, meeting the government targets of 19 GW of new annual capacity to reach 215 GW, or 25% of its domestic electricity consumption, by 2030.

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In the first four months of this year, newly installed photovolatics capacity on commercial rooftops rose by 81% while solar installations on open spaces grew by 74% compared to the same period last year. In the residential sector, new installations rose by 1%.

"Following a significant solar boom in Germany's residential areas, commercial rooftops and underperforming open spaces are now being electrified with solar technology," BSW head Carsten Körnig said in a statement.

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Susan Fenton)