Future of Germany’s PV industry discussed


How can the German solar market progress? In order to share their thoughts and ideas, experts from across Germany have gathered in Berlin at the conference, "Important changes to the EEG amendment 2012". During the two day event, which runs until this evening, they are discussing the new framework, appropriate solutions and the introduction of solar electricity sales.

"We must say goodbye to the EEG which we knew for 12 years," stated Karl Heinz Remmers, CEO of Solarpraxis AG, at the opening of the event. "It is important to now find the entrance to a new era." He has already predicted further EEG changes from this October, due to the fact the solar industry has become so "vast".

The latest evidence of this came last weekend, on Saturday May 26 at midday, when up to 45 percent of Germany’s total energy demand was supplied by solar power. This was no exception, according to Götz Fischbeck, president of Smart Solar Consulting. "In May, at noon, the electricity prices on the stock exchange went back to nighttime base load electricity price levels, due to the fed in solar electricity."

Unfortunately, pointed out Remmers, the industry has failed to aggressively enough inform politicians about the positive effects of photovoltaics. As such, they, and the media, continue to distribute incorrect information on, for example, the shortage of electricity capacity through solar power. "We have nothing to do with the planned 4,000 kilometer grid expansion," he said. Locally generated solar power does not need any significant network expansion.

That the industry offensively informs, is a necessary strategy to respond to the current deterioration of the energy policy framework. To adapt to the new circumstances is another. "With additional deterioration beyond the draft law, a legitimate complaint would have a good chance of success," continued Remmers.

Overall, he is generally optimistic about the future of photovoltaics in Germany. "Angela Merkel has made energy policy a top priority. A failure [in this area] would always also [be regarded] as her failure." Furthermore, solar energy in Germany is turning out to be more important than ever, since the development of offshore energy will last a lot longer than originally planned.

Translated by Becky Beetz.