EU energy crisis: German solar power boom sees skyrocketing revenue
The war in Ukraine has resulted in an undeniable energy crisis. However, not all are suffering from this outcome.
Increasing demand for home solar power systems in Germany (to replace Russian gas) could see revenues at one German solar firm rise by more than 50 percent this year to a total of €500 million euros ($725 million).
This amount could even reach a whopping €1 billion ($1.45 billion) in 2025, Solarwatt's chief executive told Reuters, and the company has ambitious plans to raise its staff numbers to 940 this year from 810 in 2022 and 600 in 2021.
In 2022, Solarwatt's sales totaled €330 million ($479 million), doubling its 2021 revenues that came in at €160 million ($232 million).
Strong and healthy
"Growth is strong and healthy," Detlef Neuhaus said in a Reuters interview.
There is a rush all over Europe to install solar panels, batteries, and heat pumps to decrease citizens' reliance on Russian energy and its accompanying significant prices that keep on rising.
"We are a life-long supplier to people who want to become self-reliant on renewable energy," said Neuhaus.
Solarwatt's high-end photovoltaic rooftop systems can be combined with their own storage batteries and energy management devices or those originating from other suppliers.
Als erster deutscher Hersteller haben wir eine “#CradletoCradle”-Zertifizierung in Bronze/Silbe für unsere Glas-Glas-Module aus Dresdner Herstellung erhalten. Unsere Solarmodule gelten damit über den gesamten Kreislauf betrachtet als besonders nachhaltig: https://t.co/f6rRbx3duj pic.twitter.com/AiVDEkk1ZJ— SOLARWATT Germany (@solarwattDE) July 25, 2022
This makes the firm less susceptible to being overtaken by cheaper Asian rivals that have brought down some other German solar firms in the past 10 years.
Solarwatt's technology can also help owners who wish to reduce their impact on the environment, both in how they power their homes, and in how they run their electric cars.
"That is logical, given home solar production costs 10 to 12 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) and buying-in from the utilities costs 45 cents," Neuhaus said.
Not all is rosy, though. Despite its current success, Solarwatt is still struggling with a lack of parts and labor.
"There are still difficulties with supply chains and installation capacities," Neuhaus said.
In addition, an entire solar-based value chain with panels, batteries, heat pump, and digital management still currently costs tens of thousands of euros. As such, many residents are holding on to their gas boilers.
This may, however, not always be the case. According to a report by Oslo-based Rystad Energy published in November 2022, the cost of generating power using solar photovoltaics is set to drop so low that it will be 10 times cheaper than current options.
By the end of 2023, renewable energy capacity in the form of solar and wind farm installations is expected to supply about 50 GW of energy. In the coming years, as European countries look at installing more renewable energy capacities to reduce their carbon emissions, the average capital cost of these installations will drop to US$1.3 per Watt, the report said.
This is bound to make solar very viable and perhaps even profitable. Will Europe's future be solar-powered?
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