While it is not exactly what the industry had been hoping for, it is at least a slight reprieve to know that the new FIT cuts will commence later than previously announced. Specifically, cuts for rooftop systems will take effect on April 1, while those for ground-mounted will be applied on July 1, 2012.
However, the industry is still up in arms about Ministers’ Norbert Röttgen and Phillip Rösler’s new plans. Just yesterday, an estimated 12,000 protesters gathered at Berlin’s Brandenburger Tor to demonstrate against them.
European Photovoltaic Industry Association’s (EPIA’s) president, Ingmar Wilhelm, has also written an open letter to Merkel, voicing his concerns. In it, he writes, "EPIA is concerned together with many other companies, business leaders and associations about your Governments decision to dramatically reduce feed-in tariffs for PV in Germany."
He added, "No one believes that PV support schemes should last forever not even for much longer and everyone knows that these need to be smart, sustainable and properly adapted to changing market conditions. However, this does not mean that they should be reduced all of a sudden and to unsustainable levels."
In related news, a 20 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic park has been completed and grid connected in Germanys Hoyerswerda. The Elsterheide solar park, which was finished in January, has been built across 450,000 square meters and is comprised of 86,960 Sunowe monocrystalline photovoltaic modules. A total of 18 string inverter stations, kitted out with 54 SolarMax inverters are also included.
"A particular challenge with the Elsterheide solar park for both companies was the extremely short execution time: there were only ten days between the signing of the contracts and the start of the project. All parts had been supplied within a period of only four weeks," explained SolarMax in a statement released.
Meanwhile, Q-Cells SE and Getec green energy AG have said they will install a 28 MW photovoltaic project in Saxony-Anhalt. Set to occupy around 55 hectares at Amsdorf near Halle, around 123,000 polycrystalline modules, supplied by Q-Cells, are expected to be in place by April of this year. Ground on the project was officially broken yesterday, and construction will commence immediately.
Large-scale solar parks in Germany will be a thing of the past, if the new feed-in tariff plans, unveiled almost two weeks ago, are brought into play. As it currently stands, no photovoltaic systems bigger than 10 MW will be eligible to receive remuneration.