Germany: Bundestag decides on solar subsidies cuts

Last evening, after a debate in the Bundestag that lasted nearly one and a half hours, delegates decided to accelerate the cuts in FITs for PV roof installations starting on July 1, and for ground-mounted PV plants as of September 1.

The majority of delegates voted for the motion that was introduced to parliament within the scope of the European Law Amendment Act for Renewable Energies (EAG EE). A petition from the Green Party faction in the Bundestag, which was looking to divide the planned market-based cuts in remuneration for 2011 into four different periods, was unable to obtain a majority in the plenum.

At the same time, the Green Party aimed to have solar subsidies cut on a quarterly basis – and thus in smaller measures – starting next year. In this case, the solar industry would have been granted at least two year’s of investment security, while providing more continuity for the development of PV in Germany.

The amendment that has now been decided upon states that the FIT will be lowered by up to 15 percent, depending on the growth of the PV market in the months from March to May. This will then accelerate the flexible component of the legally prescribed gradual decrease.

At the end of the year, there will also be an additional reduction – so that PV FITs could drop by as much as 24 percent by January 1, 2012. German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Norbert Röttgen (CDU) prepared the proposal in cooperation with the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar).