Germany: Drastic cuts will be made30. March 2012 | Markets & Trends, Industry & Suppliers | By: Shamsiah Ali-Oettinger/Sandra Enkhardt
After weeks of ping-pong energy politics, the German parliament has approved the drastic cuts in subsidies for solar installations. This has been apparently undertaken to curb the pace of solar development in the country.
The cuts will be implemented April 1 and will be as high as 29 percent, depending on the size of the installation. If the solar capacity in Germany expands any further, beyond the government's goal of 2.5 to 3.5 gigawatts (GW) per year, the cuts will be even deeper. Among those sitting in the German parliament, 305 voted for these measures, while 235 were against it. The Free Democrats voted unanimously for the EEG ammendments while the Social Democrats, Greens and the Left party rejected it.
An arbitration commitee was expected to be called by the states as previously reported. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) led states were to call for this arbitration commitee in parliament together with the opposition. This was however not done. Local media reports that this was avoided due to the re-election politics of the Federal Environment Minister who is also a CDU member.
Nevertheless, not all members of the CDU party endorsed the cuts. Josef Göppel for example stated that the actual ammendment to the EEG consists of cuts that are not associated with the further conceptual development of solar power generation. He added, "There is no incentive for storage in the ammendment, that links the self-consumption to the grid-controlled storage possibilities." The Green party's Hans-Josef fell accused the government of driving even more photovoltaic companies into bankruptcy due to their decision. The called the new ammendment and law "a severe blow to the innovative solar industry".
Meanwhile, the statistics for installed capacity thus far for 2012 is still expected to show a massive increase in a bid to beat the deadlines that have now been made confirmed.
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