Skip to content

Renewable electricity

Solar PV

For solar PV, the government coalition has specified a capacity expansion target of 215 GW by 2030 in Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). According to AGEE-Stat, the installed capacity in Germany in November 2021 was nearly 60 GW. To achieve the target, an average of approx. 1.4 GW per month must be added by the end of 2030 (including intermediate targets specified in EEG and federal PV strategy). This is the required net capacity deployment, i.e. also taking into account old plants that will be taken off the grid over time. Over the last years, the expansion was significantly lower than that. If PV capacity additions were to follow the trend of the years 2017-2021, only around 92 GW could be reached by the end of 2030. In the last twelve months, the pace of expansion was only slightly higher, so a continuation of this trend would also fall significantly short of the target. To reach the 215 GW target in 2030, the expansion must therefore be around three times faster than the trend of the last twelve months. After 2030, the PV capacity is set to grow further, reaching 400 GW in 2040.

For comparison, scenarios of the Ariadne project can also be shown in the figure. The PV target of the coalition for the year 2030 is at the upper end of the corridor of all Ariadne scenarios (here without the model TIMES). The Ariadne lead model for the expansion of renewable energy sources, REMIND, is more or less similar to the coalition target in the Technology Mix Scenario for 2030. After 2030, PV capacity increases further in the Ariadne scenarios. Yet, the 400 GW targeted by the government are only reached in some scenarios, and only after 2040.

Net additions

... by installation type

According to the Photovoltaic Strategy published in May 2023, the expansion of PV from 2026 onwards will be divided roughly equally between ground-mounted systems and systems on buildings. The following figure shows, analogously to the total stock shown above, the monthly net additions by system type since 2017. The data basis for this is the Marktstammdatenregister(MaStR). Apart from a generally increasing trend, the figure shows that the "buildings" segment, which predominantly consists of rooftop installations, has been driving net additions. The figure also shows that the segment of small balcony PV systems ("plug-in generation systems") has grown strongly recently, albeit from a very low level (double-click on the corresponding legend entry). It should be noted that only a fraction of the balcony systems are correctly recorded in the Marktstammdatenregister. According to survey results of HTW Berlin, only about one third of the database entries for these installations is correct and complete.

The following figure additionally shows the share of total annual net additions by installation type since 2000. So far ground-mounted installation have never reached a share of 50% of total additions as envisioned by the Photovoltaic Strategy from 2026. In recent years, the share fluctuated around about one third.

... by installation size

Net additions are also differentiable by installation size (use the legend to view particular size classes in isolation). Within the buildings segment it is predominantly the smaller installations up to 30 kW that drive the increase in additions. These installations are most likely situated on private rooftops. While the segment of commercial building installations north of 1000 kW is significantly smaller, it has grown recently as well. The ground is dominated by large installations with a capacity of over 1000 kW (1 MW).

... by subsidy type

The German Network Agency provides data on net additions by subsidy type in the last twelve months. The following figure shows that the lion share of additions receive feed-in tariffs or premiums in accordance to the German Renewable Energy Sources Act. In most cases additions are small rooftop installations. Not even half as many additions receive subsidies resulting from a reverse auction, in which the lowest subsidy bids by installation owners win. Installations participating in these auctions are mostly large-scale ground-mounted plants. The share of installations not receiving any subsidies is rather small at this point. Such installations are e.g. marketed under power purchasing agreements (PPAs) or serve own consumption of larger industrial or commercial consumers. Lastly, this segment also includes some preliminary or unverified entries into the database. The Mieterstrom (tenant electricity) segment has been rather niche so far.

German state level

... installed capacity absolute and relative to potential

This section splits additions and installed capacity by German states. In the following figure, the left panel shows that Bavaria has the most installed capacity hosting roughly a third of all ground-mounted capacity. Far behind follow Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony und Brandenburg. Among these states only Brandenburg has a larger share of ground-mounted installations. The overall capacity in the city-states is negligible.

However, comparing absolute capacities is somewhat misleading as the states differ substantially in terms of landscape, building density and other factors that drive PV capacity potential. In order to admit a like-for-like comparison we express installed capacities as a share of the potential, as recently estimated by the Adriadne-Project, for each state by installation type. For the buildings segment there is not much variation across states. Consequently, large Bavarian capacities in this sector derive from a large potential. On the other hand, some states that seem to trail behind on an absolute basis actually use their potential similarly to states hosting much more capacity in absolute terms. Also in terms of use of potentials the city-states fall behind. Part of the reason is that they have historically faced issues in coordinating deployment for multi-family homes.

For ground-mounted installations, there is significantly more variation across states in terms of use of potential. While Saarland, Brandenburg and Bavaria are doing comparatively well, Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia and Lower Saxony have only used a fraction of their potential so far.

... installed capacity and trend as a share of potentials

The following maps show the installed capacity by German state as a share of their respective potential both for ground-mounted and building installations in the left panel. The right panel shows the net additions as a share of the potential for the last twelve months until the end of last month. It is clear that installed capacity and installation dynamics (measured in terms of additions in the last 12 months) correlate. Bayern and Saarland are in the lead here, while Thuringia and Saxony-Anhalt which have been slow to add capacity in the last twelve months have only used a small share of their overall capacity so far. City-states are far behind in terms of installed capacity. However, their trend places them better. Data for Bremen are rather unreliable as the estimated potential seems very small compared to recent additions.

Wind energy


For onshore wind power, the German government coalition is aiming for an installed capacity of 115 GW in 2030 according to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). In the month of November 2021, the installed capacity in Germany was just under 56 GW, according to AGEE-Stat. To achieve the target, therefore, an average of a good 0.5 GW per month (again net) must be added by the end of 2030. After 2030, the government aims to further expand capacity to 160 GW in 2040.

For comparison, scenarios of the Ariadne project can also be added to the figure. The coalition's targets for the expansion of onshore wind power are roughly in the middle of the corridor formed by all Ariadne scenarios, which is wider than the respective target corridor for photovoltaic. The Ariadne lead model for renewable energy expansion, REMIND, is permanently slightly above the coalition's target in the Technology Mix Scenario in 2030.

Turbine size

Onshore wind turbines installed in Germany have been getting larger and more powerful over the years. Hub heights and rotor diameters more than doubled since 2000 (cf. figure below for 12 month rolling averages). Average power has even almost quintupled. Currently, the average newly added turbine has a power capacity of over 4 megawatts.

The aforementioned size growth is also apparent in the turbine stock (left figure). Until the end of 2016 turbines with less than 2 MW dominated. Today turbines with at least 3 MW represent more than a third of the stock. The share of larger installations with over 4 MW of capacity is still relatively small but make up the largest share of recent monthly capacity additions. Deconstructed installations are almost exclusively smaller than 2 MW. ebaut werden bisher fast ausschließlich Anlagen mit einer Leistung unter 2 MW.

Distribution across German states

The total capacity shares among the German states have not changed much in the last 20 years. Lower Saxony has the most installed capacity followed at some distance by Brandenburg, Schleswig-Holstein, North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony-Anhalt. These five states make up for two thirds of the total capacity installed in Germany. States large in area such as Bavaria or Baden-Württemberg contribute little to the total capacity. This assessment does not change if one concentrates on recent additions. On the contrary, the aforementioned top-5 states have an even larger share. The most capacity additions by far in the last 12 months have happened in the comparably small state of Schleswig-Holstein.

The differences in installed capacities across the German states does not merely depend on the differences in capacity potentials but also on the way these potentials are used. The following figure shows the currently installed capacity in each state in comparison to a scenario of the Ariadne project reflecting the necessary capacities by state for 2045 under considerations of the state-specific potentials. Apart from small city state Bremen which has already met its small potential for onshore wind energy, it is again the top-5 states that already make good use of their potential. Especially so Schleswig-Holstein, having already realized two thirds of the capacity envisaged in the Ariadne scenario. Bayern, Saxony and Baden-Württemberg are particularly far behind the capacity goals suggested in the scenario.

Land use

According to the coalition agreement, two percent of the land is to be designated for the use of onshore wind energy, although no target year is mentioned. According to a report of the Bund-Länder Kooperationsausschuss, 0.70 per cent of the land was legally designated for onshore wind energy as of 31 December 2020 (lower corridor without double counting, land designated either exclusively at the level of spatial planning or at the level of urban land-use plans). In 2021, this figure rose to 0.81 percent, but in 2022, according to the latest report, it did not increase further. The Act to Increase and Accelerate the Expansion of Onshore Wind Energy Systems stipulates that by the end of 2027, a share of 1.4 percent should be achieved on average across all German states, and then two percent by the end of 2032. To achieve this goal, the current share must therefore be more than doubled. Specific targets apply for the individual federal states.


For offshore wind power, the government coalition is aiming for a capacity of at least 30 GW in 2030 according to the Wind Energy at Sea Act. In the month of November 2021, the installed capacity in German waters was 7.8 GW, according to AGEE-Stat. In order to achieve the expansion target, an average of approx. 0.2 GW per month (net) must be added to meet the 2030 target. After that, installed capacity is expected to continue to grow strongly, to at least 40 GW in 2035 and 70 GW in 2045. Due to the size of individual projects and their grid connections, the target path is less smooth than for onshore wind power. Various expansion stages can be derived from the Offshore Area Development Plan 2023 for the years 2026-2032; where this was not possible, linear interpolation was used in the figure.

For comparison, scenarios of the Ariadne project can also be added to the figure. The coalition's target for the expansion of offshore wind power in 2030 is above the Ariadne scenario corridor. In the Ariadne lead model for the expansion of renewable energy sources, REMIND, the installed capacity is only about half as high as the coalition's target in the Technology Mix Scenario in 2030. The expansion of offshore wind energy in the Ariadne scenarios only picks up speed after 2025. Until 2045, the installed wind power capacity at sea then increases very differently, in the extreme case up to 80 GW in 2045. The targets of the federal government are consistently in the upper range of the Ariadne scenario corridor.

Shares in the power sector

The coalition aims to increase the share of renewable energy in gross electricity consumption to 80 percent by 2030. Statistical data on this indicator are provided by AGEE-Stat on an annual basis, e.g., here. In 2020, the share was 45.3 percent; in 2021, it was only 41.0 percent. This decline is likely to be largely caused by significantly lower electricity consumption in 2020 due to the pandemic and a relatively poor wind year in 2021. Since then, the share has risen again. To reach the 2030 target, the share must grow by more than four percentage points per year on average from 2021 onwards. According to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), once the coal phase-out has been completed, the aim is to achieve a greenhouse gas-neutral power generation, which we illustrate in the figure with a renewable energy share of 95 percent from 2035.

In addition, the shares of renewable energy in net electricity generation can also be shown in the figure (by clicking on the corresponding entry in the legend). These shares are regularly updated by Fraunhofer ISE's energy-charts and are thus available much earlier than the consumption-based indicator mentioned in the coalition agreement. The graph shows the data available at the time of the last update of this website, i.e. the share can still change significantly over the course of the current year due to seasonal effects (*). The shares of renewable energy in net electricity generation and gross electricity consumption differ, among other reasons, because the denominator is lower in the first case due to own consumption of power plants.

For comparison, scenarios of the Ariadne project can also be added to the figure. The coalition's target for the share of renewable energies in 2030 lies within the Ariadne scenario corridor. The Ariadne lead model for renewable energy expansion, REMIND, even exceeds the coalition's target of 80 percent in the Technology Mix Scenario in 2030 with a share of 87 percent. After 2030, the share increases beyond 90 percent in most Ariadne scenarios.