Germany unveils radical new FIT strategy

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Against a backdrop of protestors, the Ministers of Environment and Economics, Norbert Röttgen (CDU) and Philipp Rösler presented their new FIT strategy at a press conference held today in Berlin, Germany, having finally come to a joint decision following months of debate over the right path forward.

First off, they announced a sizeable cut will be applied on March 9, 2012, to all photovoltaic installations, regardless of size. This will be followed by monthly tariff degressions of €0.15 per kilowatt hour (kWh) from May 1, 2012. Furthermore, as of March 9, only three categories of installation-type will be eligible to receive a FIT. These, and the new tariffs as of March, are:

  • Systems up to 10 kW will receive 19.5 euro cents per kWh
  • Systems between 10 kW and one megawatt (MW) will receive 16.5 euro cents per kWh
  • Systems between one MW and 10 MW will receive 13.5 euro cents per kWh

Plants over 10 MW can still be installed, said Röttgen, however, they will not be entitled to a FIT. In a further blow, those project developers that have already planned large-scale projects, only have until July 1 to bring their systems online. After this deadline, projects bigger than 10 MW will not receive a FIT.

It has additionally been decided that small residential installations up to 10 kW in size will receive a FIT for just 85 percent of the energy produced, while all other installations will receive a tariff for only 90 percent of the energy generated. The remaining 10 to 15 percent will then be available to the power plant owners to sell on. The aim of this power purchase system is to integrate photovoltaics more into the market.

A clause has also been added which, if passed through the Upper House, would see Röttgen’s Ministry gain the right to make changes to the tariff levels without having to go through parliament, if installations exceed the "target corridor" of between 2.5 and 3.5 gigawatts.

The ministers’ plans must now pass into law. Next Wednesday, they will be presented to the cabinet (Bundeskabinett), before going to Parliament (Bundestag). At this time, changes could be implemented. However, with Röttgen and Rösler apparently satisfied with their new plan, this seems unlikely. They also believe that the new March 9 date for introducing the first cuts and changes to the installation categories, is an appropriate timescale.

The new FITs are laid out in the table below:

Date

New: up to 10 kW

Up to 100 kW

Up to one MW

Over one MW to 10 MW

Ground-mounted, up to 10 MW

From 01.01.2012

24.43

23.23

21.98

18.33

17.94

From 09.03.2012

19.50

16.50

16.50

13.50

13.50

From 01.05.2012

19.35

16.35

16.35

13.35

13.35

From 01.06.2012

19.20

16.20

16.20

13.20

13.20

From 01.07.2012

19.05

16.05

16.05

13.05

13.05

From 01.08.2012

18.90

15.90

15.90

12.90

12.90

From 01.09.2012

18.75

15.75

15.75

12.75

12.75

From 01.10.2012

18.60

15.60

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