Germany’s Energy Minister opens 13 Forum Solarpraxis

22. November 2012 | Top News, Forum Solarpraxis, Global PV markets, Markets & Trends | By:  Sandra Enkhardt

Germany’s federal Energy Minister, Peter Altmaier has opened the 13th Forum Solarpraxis. In his speech, he linked his political fate with the success of the energy transition. In the coming week, Germany’s first EEG dialogue on photovoltaics is expected to take place.

Peter Altmaier

Altmaier said many utilities pass on far more than the renewable surcharge increase to consumers.

At the beginning of his 30 minute speech, Altmaier said that his political fate is linked with the success of the energy transition. He also stressed the need for a departure from fossil fuels. "The German energy revolution could be a model for other industrialized countries," he stated, adding that it is necessary that growth is achieved in an ecological way.

In January, Germany’s Ministry of Energy is expected to establish an international energy transition club and Altmaier envisages good opportunities for the country to participate in the growth of international photovoltaic markets. However, he said German companies must bundle their strength, given the current ruinous competitive forces.

EEG dialogue

Referring to the political situation in Germany, Peter Altmaier announced that next week will see the launch of the EEG (renewable energy) dialogue: first on the agenda is photovoltaics. He added that a fundamental reform of the EEG is necessary. Overall, he wants to preserve the dynamic expansion of renewables but, at the same time, adapt to the network expansion and place a stark focus on system integration.

Not quite matching these statements was the explanation by Altmaier that the EEG reform in the summer of 2012 was a great success. Furthermore, he believes the solar industry has seven or eight years before 52 GW of installed photovoltaic capacity is recorded in Germany and, thus, solar subsidies will expire.

But even beyond this, it is written in the amendment that feed-in priority will continue, despite the fact tariffs will no longer be paid. At this point, Altmaier assumes that photovoltaics will be marketable. And already, he said change is slowly coming into focus, with the theme of self-consumption becoming increasingly important.

Exemptions

Regarding the current debate about rising energy prices, Altmaier said that many utilities pass on far more than the renewable surcharge increase to consumers. He renewed his promise to again put exemptions for the industry under scrutiny.

This, however, only comprises a small part of the EEG allocation, continued Altmaier. The review should be completed by the year end.

Translated by Becky Beetz.


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