German cabinet approves measure to expedite solar deployment

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The German government approved the draft “Solar Package 1” bill this week to ensure annual installations of 22 GW by 2026 and “to remove obstacles,” according to German Economics Minister Robert Habeck.

“It will be easier for companies, farmers, citizens and municipalities to invest in photovoltaics,” said Sven Giegold, state secretary for the economy ministry.

The proposed legislative changes primarily simplify plug-in solar devices, while encompassing all areas including rooftop and ground-mounted systems, as well as tenant electricity and community energy supply.

Rooftop installations will be streamlined, as the existing simplified grid-connection procedures will be extended to PV systems up to 30 kW in size. Direct marketing access for smaller PV systems will also be simplified, and technical equipment requirements for systems up to 25 kW will be eased.

For medium-sized commercial plants, a plant certificate will only be necessary for a feed-in capacity of 270 kW or an installed capacity of over 500 kW.

A new model in the draft also promotes the supply of solar power within buildings, extending to residential tenants or commercial customers. The existing EEG subsidy for PV systems on buildings will also encompass outdoor areas.

Plug-in solar devices are limited to an output of 2 kW and an inverter output of 800 VA. They must be operated behind a final consumer's point of use.

The previous EEG amendment introduced a new repowering regulation for ground-mounted photovoltaic systems, which will now extend to roof systems, allowing the replacement of old modules with more powerful ones while maintaining the original feed-in tariff.

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In the latest, “In Conversation” issue of pv magazine we talk to a range of people about their experience with solar, from a sailor and a pair of overland adventurers to a mountain climber and more besides. We also focus on Africa to consider why a continent with such vast solar resource still lags more developed economies when it comes to widespread PV and energy storage rollout.

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Key for ground-mounted PV systems is the expansion of area coverage, allowing agricultural land in disadvantaged areas for construction. Extensive agrivoltaic systems meeting extensification criteria will receive a bonus, and biodiversity solar parks will receive additional funding through separate ordinance authorization.

A dedicated PV tender sub-segment is planned for ground-mounted systems, including agrivoltaics, floating, and parking lot systems, up to 3,000 MW per year.

Following cabinet approval, “Solar Package 1” proceeds to the Bundestag for consideration. The economics ministry is also developing “Solar Package 2” to implement additional measures from the jointly created “Photovoltaics Strategy.”

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