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Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE

Fraunhofer ISE publishes "Photovoltaics Report"

Last updated: November 17, 2016

Photovoltaics is a fast growing market: On average, installations have grown by 44% annually in the period from 2000 to 2014.
The intention of this presentation is to provide up-to-date information. However, facts and figures change rapidly and the given information may soon be outdated again.

Recent facts about photovoltaics in Germany

Compiled by Dr. Harry Wirth, Fraunhofer ISE
Last updated: October 14, 2016

Germany is leaving the age of fossil fuel behind. In building a sustainable energy future, photovoltaics is going to have an important role. The following summary consists of the most recent facts, figures and findings and shall assist in forming an overall assessment of the photovoltaic expansion in Germany.


Study: Supergrid

Approach for the integration of renewable energy in Europe and North Africa

Prof. Dr. Werner Platzer, Fraunhofer ISE
March, 12, 2016

The percentage of renewables in the electricity supply is steadily growing worldwide. Using a combination of different renewable sources, an ecological and economical electricity mix can be realized across national borders. Decisive here is the reliable supply, storage and distribution of renewable electricity. In the Supergrid project, several Fraunhofer institutes joined together to research just how such an electricity and transmission grid between North Africa and Europe could function. They developed scenarios for a renewable energy system in the MENA region and compared potential technologies. Detailed solutions were proposed and regulatory mechanisms were evaluated.

Study: What will the Energy Transformation Cost?

Pathways for Transforming the German Energy System by 2050

Prof. Dr. Hans-Martin Henning / Dr.-Ing. Dipl.-Wirt.-Ing.Andreas Palzer, Fraunhofer ISE
Full Study: February 2016 / Short Summary: December 15, 2015

The transformation of the energy system in Germany is a declared political goal of the federal government. By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by at least 80 percent under 1990 levels. This necessitates a massive reduction in energy-related CO2 emissions, forcing a fundamental restructuring of the present energy system towards a largely carbon-free energy supply. The transformation requires major investments and will not happen of its own accord. Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE now presented a study which investigates the system and cost developments of the German energy system transformation in line with meeting the declared climate targets. The study covers the period starting from today up to 2050. The model-based study considers all relevant energy sectors and energy carriers to provide a detailed analysis on how Germany can achieve its climate goals through efficient energy use and renewable energy. Considering various scenarios, simulations show different, cost-optimized pathways for achieving the energy transformation.


Study: Current Status of Concentrator Photovoltaic (CPV) Technology

Dr. Simon P. Philipps, Dr. Andreas W. Bett, Fraunhofer ISE / Kelsey Horowitz, Dr. Sarah Kurtz, National Renewable Energy Laboratory NREL, USA
Version 1.2, February 2016

The German Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE and the US  National Renewable Energy Laboratory, NREL, have compiled a study that describes the status of both the current market as well as the state-of-the-art for concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) technology. This young technology has achieved tremendous progress and has the potential for delivering solar electricity at a cost-competitive level in sun-rich regions with high direct irradiation values. The study gives an overview of all installations bigger than
1 MW, also of all companies active in the field of high and low concentration technologies as well as of efficiency values  and the levelized cost of electricity. The study will be updated every half year.

Power Generation from Renewable Energy in Germany – Assessment of 2015

Collated by Prof. Bruno Burger, Fraunhofer ISE; January 11, 2016, last updated on: January 13, 2016,

These slides visualize power generation data of 2015 along with trends in individual sources (renewable and conventional), including a comparison with the previous year.

In total, renewable energy sources – solar, wind, hydropower, and biomass – produced approximately 190 TWh of electricity in 2015, 30 TWh more than in the first half of 2014, equivalent to a 20% increase. Renewables thus made up around 35% of public net power supply.

Interactive graphics and the latest power production data are available at www.energy-charts.de.


Offshore wind generates more than 2,000 MW for the first time

Prof. Dr. Bruno Burger
July 10, 2015

On Wednesday, 8 July 2015, offshore wind turbines in German waters produced more than 2,000 megawatts (MW) of electricity for the first time. Turbines in the North Sea generated 1,840 MW of that amount for export to grid operator Tennet. The wind farms in the Baltic, which are connected to the 50 Hertz grid, produced 250 MW. In the first half of 2015, several new wind farms went into operation in the North Sea and the Baltic to make this new record possible.

Study: Current and Future Cost of Photovoltaics - Long-term scenarios for Market Development, System Prices and LCOE of Utility-Scale PV Systems

Johannes N. Mayer, Dr. Simon Philipps, Noha Saad Hussein, Dr. Thomas Schlegl, Charlotte Senkpiel, Fraunhofer ISE
February 24, 2015

According to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE commissioned by Agora Energiewende, solar energy will become the cheapest power source in many parts of the world. By 2025, solar power in sunny regions will be cheaper than power from coal or gas.


Electricity Spot-Prices and Production Data

Compiled by Johannes Mayer, Fraunhofer ISE
Last updated: 2014 Slides: December 31, 2014; 2013 Slides: January 16, 2014

The slides show time series of the production by photovoltaic, wind and conventional energies in Germany combined with the electricity prices (Day-Ahead and Intraday) of the European Energy Exchange, EEX. Furthermore analysis on the history of electricity prices are provided. The slides will be updated regularly to provide recent and transparent data and charts.

Study: Levelized Cost of Electricity - Renewable Energy Technologies

Dipl. Wi.-Ing. Christoph Kost, Fraunhofer ISE 13. November 2013

The study compares the present costs for conversion of different energy forms into electricity and gives a prognosis for the further cost development up to 2030. The scientists in Freiburg analyze both the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) from renewables as well as from conventional energy technologies. They present comparative figures for new power plants constructed in Germany, which are based on solar, wind energy and biogas as well as brown coal, hard coal and gas.

The study was carried out in the business area Energy System Analysis and is also available in german language.


Electricity production from solar and wind in Germany

Compiled by Prof. Bruno Burger, Fraunhofer ISE
Last updated:
2014 Slides: December 29, 2014; 2013 Slides: January 9, 2014

The slides show the monthly production of photovoltaic, wind and conventional energies in Germany. They will be updated monthly to provide actual and transparent data.

Visit also www.energy-charts.de for interactive graphs displaying actual electricity production and spot market prices in Germany.

Solar Power Plants Deliver Peak Load

Statement Prof. Bruno Burger, Fraunhofer ISE
Freiburg, June 2011
(last update: January 2012)

The comfortable weather of the past weeks lured many outside. However, not only those looking for sun benefited from the beautiful weather, also solar power plants operated particularly well and delivered an important contribution to the power supply. Graphs based on data from the European Electricity Exchange (EEX) show that, depending on the weather, over midday up to 13.2 Gigawatts (GW) of solar power was delivered to the public grid. That corresponds to the net output power of up to ten nuclear power plants.

Solar power plants thus relieve the conventional power plants and significantly reduce the peak power demand. At the moment, in Germany, only four of the 17 Nuclear power plants are operating, therefore solar plants play an important role in a secure power supply. They absorb the peak loads during the day, thereby allowing the conventional power plants to operate with an almost constant power from 7am to 10pm.
The figures 1 and 2 show the planned and actual power production from solar, wind and conventional power plants on Sunday and Monday the 8th and 9th of May 2011. These figures show how well the predicted and actual production agrees.

Figure 3 shows the electricity production over one week. The following figure shows the production over one month. All figures show that solar power is a reliable producer and that it can deliver valuable peak load power. One can also see that every day during this week the complete midday peak load was covered by solar power. The conventional peak load power plants were significantly relieved.

According to Prof. Dr. Bruno Burger from the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg the figures show that the contribution of solar power is very predictable and steady, revealing no rapid changes, as can occur for example, with wind power. “The reason is the large spatial distribution of the solar plants, where local weather conditions, such as moving clouds, are averaged out completely”.


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Interactive graphs displaying electricity production and spot market prices in Germany