May 3, 2011 / 3:45 PM / 6 years ago

German solar energy growth to slow this year -BSW

* New installed PV capacity seen at 5-6 GW in 2011

* Total PV capacity seen rising to 52-70 GW by 2020

* More than 50 pct cut in system prices seen by 2020

By Svetlana Kovalyova

VERONA, Italy, May 3 (Reuters) - Growth of new photovoltaic capacity in Germany, the world’s biggest solar market, is expected to slow in 2011 due to planned cuts in incentives, a senior industry official said on Tuesday. Germany added more than 7 gigawatts (GW) of photovoltaic (PV) capacity, which turns sunlight into power, in a record-breaking 2010 to reach a total of about 17 GW, equal to 17 large power plants.

“In 2011, approximately 6 GW are expected to be installed,” Klaus Bernhard Hofmann, director of German Solar Industry Association (BSW), told an international photovoltaic conference in northern Italy.

Depending on the impact of the announced cuts in German solar power subsidies in 2011, the country may install between 5 and 6 GW of new PV capacity this year, Hofmann then told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference.

Earlier this year, Germany passed a law cutting solar power subsidies by up to 15 percent from this summer, with the cuts for roof installations starting from July and for ground-based cell assemblies from September. [ID:nLDE71N2KG]

Future capacity growth will depend on a reform of Germany’s renewable energy act in 2012, Hofmann said.

“Our forecast for the German market is that ... its growth pace will shift to 3 GW to 5 GW (a year) in the long run to 2020,” he said.

Under Germany’s government plan for renewable energy development to 2020, total PV capacity is expected to rise to 52 GW by that year, while BSW projects a more ambitious growth to 70 GW by 2020, Hofmann said.

BSW also targets a more than 50 percent cut in PV system prices by 2020 in Germany, among its nine main targets for sector development until 2020, he said.

Reporting by Svetlana Kovalyova, editing by Jane Baird

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