German parliament approves incentive cut for 40-750 kW solar systems

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The German parliament on Friday approved a package of measures – the Energiesammelgesetz – for the energy sector, including a trailed FIT reduction for commercial and industrial rooftop PV, and additional quotas for solar to be tendered in future wind/PV auctions for large-scale projects.

Compared to the initial draft proposed by the government, the governing coalition agreed a less severe cut. “We have found a middle ground from the calculations of the Federal Ministry of Economics, and the industry,” said Jens Koppen of the CDU party, at the start of the debate.

Originally, the government had planned to cut the FIT for PV installations ranging in size from 40 kW to 750 kW by around 11%, to €0.089/kWh – the same level as the FIT for ground-mounted projects.

“We have made the reduction moderate,” said the CDU’s Thomas Bareiß, who is Secretary of State for the Federal Ministry of Economics. Mr. Bareiß said the tariff was lowered so plants still make money, but excess funding would be reduced. The secretary of state also referred to module prices, which have dropped by 29 per cent in the last year.

The usual level of digression of FITs for commercial and industrial rooftop PV – which is determined by how much solar capacity is installed in preceeding months – will be suspended for the period of the special cuts, and will not be used until the tariff for May is determined.

The FIT for commercial and industrial rooftops will fall to €0.1047/kWh this month, and to €0.1036/kWh next month.

The package of measures established additional tenders for PV and onshore wind totaling some 4 GW each between 2019 and 2021. In the previous draft, the additional tenders were planned for 2019 and 2020. Mr. Bareiß justified the extension by pointing to rising prices in the tenders.