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Renewable Energy Installations in 2023: Analysis of Figures by the Federal Network Agency

As the new year begins, the influx of data continues. The Federal Network Agency has now released its preliminary analysis of the installation figures for renewable energy sources, with the obvious data source being the Market Master Data Register.

The Growth of Photovoltaic Expansion: Mostly with Storage


In 2023, the installation of solar power capacity nearly doubled compared to the previous year, reaching 14.1 GW. This remarkable increase can be attributed mainly to the surge in private solar installations. Additionally, there was a notable growth in solar panel installations on commercial roofs and open spaces. Bavaria led the way in solar power installations in 2023, with a capacity of 3.5 GW. By the end of the same year, the total installed solar power capacity in Germany reached 81.7 GW. To achieve the ambitious target of 215 GW of solar power capacity by 2030, Germany will need to add an additional 19 GW annually.


In recent years, the utilization of energy storage systems in privately owned building facilities has become increasingly prevalent. With approximately 70 percent of solar installations in 2023 incorporating an energy storage component, it is evident that this trend is becoming a cornerstone of sustainable energy practices.


The Rise of Balcony Solar Systems in Germany


According to the Federal Network Agency, around 260,000 plug-in solar systems, also known as balcony solar systems, were registered in the Market Master Data Register in 2023. This represents three times as many registrations as the previous year, indicating a significant boom in the popularity of these systems. In fact, these balcony solar systems contribute to 1.5 percent (0.2 GW) of the total new solar capacity installed in Germany.


Wind and Land: Schleswig-Holstein Leads the Way 


In 2023, the newly added wind capacity reached 2.9 GW, exceeding the previous year's level. This figure takes into account the decommissioned facilities from the newly commissioned ones. The total installed capacity at the end of 2023 stands at 60.9 GW. The goal is to increase this installed capacity to 115 GW by 2030. To achieve this target, Germany needs to add 7.7 GW of wind power annually. In 2023, the majority of new wind energy installations, totaling 1.1 GW, were completed in Schleswig-Holstein. In the southern German states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, a combined 0.08 GW of wind energy installations were added last year (Bavaria: 0.023 GW, Baden-Württemberg: 0.054 GW). 80% Increase in Land Wind Energy Approval. In 2023, there was an 80% increase in approvals for land-based wind energy installations compared to the previous year. These approvals were granted for approximately 8 GW of capacity and are expected to be realized in the coming years.


Wind Energy in the Baltic Sea: Operation in 2023


In 2023, a new offshore wind farm consisting of 27 wind turbines was commissioned, marking a significant milestone in wind energy development in the Baltic Sea. This is an impressive achievement, as the amount of offshore wind power installed in the same year is comparable to the previous year. Currently, the combined installed capacity of wind farms in the Baltic and North Seas stands at a remarkable 8.5 gigawatts.


New Biomass Power Plants Increase Capacity


In 2023, the capacity of biomass power plants experienced a significant boost, doubling from the previous year with an additional 0.12 gigawatts. The key driver behind this increase was the installation of three new biomass power plants, which not only generate electricity but also produce useful heat. As a result, the total biomass capacity in operation now stands at approximately 9 gigawatts.


The figures for the entire year of 2023 were compiled by the Federal Network Agency based on registrations in the Market Master Data Register. Estimates were made for the month of December. A comprehensive analysis of the growth numbers is scheduled for publication at the end of January 2024. The Market Master Data Register (MaStR) serves as an extensive official register for all electricity-producing installations in Germany. All grid-connected power generation plants and battery storage must be registered in the MaStR, with only a few exceptions. The Federal Network Agency is responsible for operating the MaStR.


Apart from the increase in renewable energy capacity in 2023, various analyses have been conducted to assess the influence of these developments on the energy mix. The Federal Network Agency's electricity market data and the AG Energy Balance evaluations are among the notable sources of information used for this purpose.

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