Ever since the German government started subsidizing solar energy, demand for solar installations went up like clockwork, towards the end of each year.
But recently released data from German regulators shows that number of solar installations in December 2012 was down 88% from the previous year.
In fact, 2012 saw the lowest number of installations since 2008.
And it still wasn’t as low as the German government would have liked. The German government wants to cut back on solar energy installations because their whole drive to switch to renewable energy has ended being far more expensive that they thought it would be. Which is why they have been aggressively cutting back on subsidies, according to a report from JP Morgan Securities:
“The lack of a year-end installation rush in Germany likely indicates that Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) cuts are having the desired effect and demand and will trend meaningfully lower from now on.”
Photo: JP Morgan Securities
This is a sure sign that Europeans are going to want to spend a lot less on solar energy, and that’s going to have quite an effect on the global demand for such installations:
“Germany accounted for about a quarter of global Solar PV demand in 2012 and was by far the largest single market. Global Solar PV demand was expected to be approximately 30GW in 2012, with Germany being the largest single market. Outside of Germany, China, Italy, the US, and Japan were the largest markets—all expected to come in less than 5GW. Italy has also been taking aggressive action to limit new solar installations.”
Even though JP Morgan analysts expect some markets for solar energy to grow in 2013, such as China, Japan, the US, India and parts of the Middle East, they expect that most of that growth will be offset by declining European demand.
“With continued oversupply throughout the Solar PV food chain and the expectation of a flat global demand outlook, we remain bearish on the sector…and think the recent run-up in US solar stocks is overdone.”