Germany: Record month for PV

A new record, photovoltaics generated four billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity last month. This is an increase of around 40 percent compared to May 2011. It was also last May that the previous peak value of 2.6 billion kWh was reached.

Overall, the amount of electricity generated in the first five months of 2012 in Germany was around 10.5 billion kWh. In the same period last year, over 7.6 billion kWh were produced, said BDEW. The new record is being attributed to the increase in photovoltaic installations last year, and the favorable weather conditions.

Due to the strong solar feed in, the BDEW expects additional costs of €460 million, which could now affect the 2013 EEG (renewable energy) surcharge. It remains to be seen how the EEG account further develops during the year, said the association.

BDEW head, Hildegard Müller demanded a rapid reduction in the photovoltaic feed-in tariffs and other EEG changes. She criticized, in particular, the fact that every year billions of dollars are invested in the development of renewables, but not in the development of the grid.

Furthermore, there are concerns that the EEG is "an enormous burden on the consumer". "Therefore, it is now more important that a reduction in solar subsidies is decided," said Müller at the first mediation meeting between the Bundestag and Bundesrat last Wednesday. However, next to the planned subsidy cuts in the present draft of the EEG amendment act, are significant improvements, she continued.

She further criticized the chosen market integration model for solar. "From the point of view of the BDEW, the important goal of the so-called photovoltaic market integration model will not be reached in its present configuration," she said.

In addition, undesirable side effects would occur, for example, the redistribution of the costs of the energy transition. "There are cost related risks for operators and power distributors, as well as a significant management effort in the implementation of this model," said Müller.

She added that the overall, an unnecessary and huge increase in bureaucracy is to be expected, the corresponding costs of which are rejected by the BDEW.

Translated by Becky Beetz.