Switzerland allocates another $513m for solar incentives


From pv magazine Germany

Switzerland wants to push ahead with the expansion of renewable energy, with a particular focus on new PV systems.

Over the coming year, the Federal Council will provide CHF470 million ($515 million) to support development. This means that the waiting list for feed-in tariff (FIT) contracts for PV systems will be completely eliminated for the first time since 2008.

This year, 22,400 new renewables systems have secured public support. This means that more than 85,000 subsidized systems are currently in operation in Switzerland, covering around 9% of total electricity consumption.

All system operators who submitted their complete applications to Pronovo AG by March 31, 2020, will be granted solar rebates by the end of the year. Around 20,000 systems should be funded this year – a total of CHF30 million.

In the coming year, the funding volume is then to be more than doubled to CHF270 million, announced the Federal Council. All operators who submit their complete application by the end of September 2021 would, presumably, receive the one-off payment.

The Federal Council estimates the total output of these systems at around 330 MW. From October 2021, there should then only be a processing time of around three months for the applications.

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The one-time rebate for large photovoltaic systems is called GREIV in Switzerland. In this area, the waiting list has been reduced since February of this year and there is only a three-month processing period for applications. This year, around CHF257 million flowed into the funding of 2,400 large photovoltaic systems with a total output of 713 MW. Around CHF200 million Swiss francs should then be available for GREIV funding for 2020.

In addition, there is also the cost-covering feed-in tariff system, which is also known as KEV. In 2020, 147 new photovoltaic systems, with a total output of 41 MW, were registered under this scheme. 

The Swiss Federal Council is also planning a reform of the Energy Act and the Electricity Supply Act and called for these to be merged into a shell decree under the name ‘Federal act on secure power supply with renewable Eenergies.' This should also specify funding for photovoltaics and other renewable technologies beyond the year 2022.

The Federal Council advocates, among other things, the introduction of tenders for large photovoltaic systems.

At the end of October, Swissolar had forecast a record increase of more than 400 MW of new photovoltaic capacity for this year. This would increase the total output of the installed systems to around 2,870 MW. The photovoltaic systems are expected to cover around 4.7% of the demand. According to Swissolar, however, an additional 1,000 megawatts per year is necessary to implement the Energy Strategy 2050.

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