Switzerland provides additional $47m for solar incentives


From pv magazine Germany.

Switzerland’s Federal Office of Energy has allocated an additional CHF46 million ($47.5 million) to its residential and commercial rooftop rebate program.

Although applications for incentives under the scheme rose significantly in the first quarter, demand is now falling back because of the Covid-19 crisis, the federal office said today. The government said the extra funds have been allotted to try and stimulate demand.

The extra cash will expand the rebate budget to CHF376 million and will be financed from a levy electricity consumers pay to fund the development of renewables. “The liquidity of the fund is currently good and allows this special measure,” said the Federal Office of Energy.

Rebates are available to offset 30% of the cost of buying and installing small PV systems, with a generation capacity of up to 100 kW, and larger, 100 kW-50 MW facilities.

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Waiting times

The federal energy office said the extra funding is expected to also help reduce the waiting time for payments, with the waiting list for large systems potentially disappearing entirely. Thus far, applications for all systems have taken around a year to process. Applications received before February for larger PV system rebates will receive a decision by the middle of next month at the latest, according to the authority, with large system applications made since February having to wait only three months.

For small-system rebates, the federal authority said applications received by the end of last month will be processed this year and those received from this month onwards can expect to wait nine months.

Pronovo AG, the government agency responsible for administering subsidies in Switzerland, last month announced coronavirus relief measures related to solar projects. It was decided the April 1 project completion cut-off date to qualify for full subsidies would not be applied to projects which applied for an exception to the tariff deduction because of Covid-19 containment measures. The subsidy agency also pledged to pay subsidies within 14 days during for the duration of coronavirus containment measures, a settlement rate around a month faster than usual.


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