German Green Party anticipates deeper solar subsidy cuts

This week German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Norbert Röttgen (CDU) submitted his ministerial draft bill for amending the Renewable Energy Act (EEG).

The draft is now at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as well as the Federal Ministry of Finance, among others, for approval. The Green Party suspects that there will be substantial reductions in solar subsidies in the course of these negotiations.

As if to say "it can’t get any worse" energy policymakers in the Christian Democratic Union are now advocating that the development of photovoltaics should be curtailed warns Hans-Josef Fell, energy policy spokesman for the Green Party.

The current target is approximately 3,500 megawatts. In addition, it is almost certain that the Ministry of Economics and Technology will likewise call for sharp cuts in the subsidies for photovoltaic energy.

"If his officials are successful, then the new Federal Minister of Economics Rösler (FDP) can immediately make a name for himself as the person who decelerated the development of solar energy," Fell went on to say.

There was no response from the Ministry of Economics and Technology when asked by pv magazine about ongoing interdepartmental coordination of the ministerial draft bill. "The manner in which we evaluate the content of the draft is not intended for the public," communicated the German Federal Ministry of Finance with reference to internal government negotiations.

With the amendment to the Renewable Energy Act, the German federal government plans, among other things, to abolish remuneration for photovoltaic installations with an output of between 30 and 100 kilowatts.

In the future, there will only be three instead of four categories for rooftop installations: photovoltaic plants up to 30 kilowatts, between 30 and 500 kilowatts, as well as those that have more than 500 megawatts.

This has caused some concern in the industry as it would mean an additional reduction in solar subsidies for plants between 30 and 100 kilowatts.

Furthermore, in the future the Federal Ministry for the Environment aims to incorporate all photovoltaic plants into its feed-in management scheme. Thus a feed-in ceiling of 70 percent of the maximum module output at the mains connection point is intended for small photovoltaic plants under 100 kilowatts.

In the opinion of the experts, this will result in yield losses of between three and eight percent, while making it more difficult to design solar plants.