New German government presents package of measures to support PV


From pv magazine Germany

Robert Habeck has headed the newly created Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection – or BMWK, for short – since December. On Tuesday, the Green politician unveiled his “balance sheet for climate protection” and presented his plans for the coming months. “We start with a drastic deficit,” he stated in a press conference. “The previous climate protection measures are inadequate in all sectors and it is foreseeable that the climate targets for 2022 and 2023 will not be achieved.”

The new measures will be implemented through two different legislative acts. First, several provisions that could be implemented quickly will be included in what Habeck called the “Easter package,” which is expected to come in the spring and to go through the parliamentary process in the early summer. In addition, there will be a “summer package” with further measures that will then be decided by the two branches of the German parliament – the Bundestag and Bundesrat – in the second half of the year. Habeck is aiming for the necessary state aid approval by the European Commission for both climate protection laws this year.

Central to the new German government coalition, which is formed by the Social Democrats (SPD), the Green Party and the liberals (FDP), is to increase the share of renewables to 80% of gross electricity consumption by 2030. This goes hand in hand with higher targets for photovoltaics and wind power. Installed photovoltaic capacity is expected to increase by around 140-200GW by 2030. In Habeck's opening balance, a step-by-step increase in the annual expansion to 20GW, by 2028, is planned. In 2029 and 2030 it should then remain stable at 20GW per year. For the current year, the ministry is only assuming a slight increase, of around 7GW.

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The minister wants to ensure a strong surge in demand for photovoltaics with a new version of the German renewable energy law, the so-called EEG. In the law amendment, which is to be made in the spring, the course is to be set for bigger volumes in tenders. “The technology-specific capacities are designed to be increasing, starting from a very ambitious level from the start,” said the minister.

But higher tender volumes alone will not be enough and solar should be unleashed with a “broad bundle of individual measures.” This includes raising the current size limits in tenders and providing more surfaces for solar parks while observing nature conservation criteria. The government has also agreed on mandatory photovoltaic systems for new commercial buildings while, for residential new buildings, the coalition wants the installation of photovoltaic systems to become the rule.

The lowering of the electricity price is also of central importance for the new federal government in order to more strongly electrify the heating and transport sectors, in particular. In the coming year, the EEG surcharge should therefore be financed through the federal budget and no longer through the electricity bills paid by consumers. The government hopes that heat pumps and electric cars will become more attractive and this should also be triggered by the Easter package.

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