Germany: Government will probably compromise

The crisis summit that was scheduled today at the chancellor’s office has been cancelled. The provincial state governments of Germany have managed to build up a substantial force against the proposed cuts to the FITs for photovoltaic systems in Germany. "There has been a tentative consensus," reported domestic newspaper ‘The Financial Times of Germany’ today. This tentative consensus has been reached by the federal and state governments after a meeting that involved Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and Federal Minister for Economics Philipp Rösler.

Representatives of the southern state of Bayern as well as Christian Democrat (CDU)-led states in east Germany, Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt could have imposed massive changes. The government has had to take a step back because they want to prevent an arbitration commitee from being invoked by the states and thereby a further delay of the EEG. A two-third majority vote in the parliament is required for this. Several CDU politicians have indicated that they would then vote with the SPD (Social Democratic Party) for this arbitration committee should a change to the bill not be considered. Therefore, it looks plausible that the transitional period for photovoltaic systems may be extended.

Nevertheless, post meeting on Thursday, the politicians of east German states remain sceptical. "We will call for an arbitration commitee, should the federal government not react, so that the branch can live," Thuringia’s minister Christine Lieberknecht told local media. She added that the industry is developing well so there is no need for nips and tucks. She also said, "I have not met any private power users who are upset over the EEG surcharge."