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28.06.2012

Halfhearted Corrections to Support Measures for Solar Power

By: BSW-Solar

Solar industry welcomes the selective changes to cuts in support achieved throughobjections by federal states. Corrections, however, do not go far enough.

The mediation committee between Federal Government and the Länder (German federal states)agreed on Wednesday evening to corrections in the reduction of support for solar power. The German Solar Industry Association welcomes the planned mitigation of the planned cuts, which is expected to be passed this week by the Bundestag and Bundesrat (Germany's lower and upper houses of parliament), and which will provide a certain amount of relief in particular to investors ofsmall and medium-sized solar power systems. However, the Association fears that the corrections do not go far enough. In an initial assessment of the agreement, Carsten Körnig, Chief Executive Officer of the German Solar Industry Association (BSW-Solar), had the following to say: “Although we’re back in first gear, one foot is still on the brakes in the German energiewende.”

While the solar industry is not fundamentally opposed to further reductions in the support for solar power, it still considers the planned cuts to be excessive. According to these cuts, support for solar power will in the future be reduced by up to 29% per year. The industry association fears that, in the long run, the cost development for photovoltaics cannot keep pace with these cuts.

BSW-Solar also criticizes the factthat the Federal Government continues to hold onto plans to reduce the annual expansion of photovoltaics in Germany by half compared to the level of previous years, and to limit the support to a total peak capacity of 52 gigawatts (to date, around 27 GWp have been installed).

According to recent calculations conducted by Prognos AG, the continued expansion in the use of solar power in Germany will have a negligible financial impact. A doubling of the share ofsolar power in the German electricity mix from 3.2 percent (2011) to nearly 7 percent (2016) would lead to an increase in electricity prices of only 2.5 percent over the next four years (see press illustration -in German- http://tinyurl.com/clxkc2b).)

The changes in detail:

According to the mediation committee decision, the plans for significant cuts in photovoltaic feed-in tariffs ofover 30 percent as of April 1st are to remain in place. At the same time, in the medium-sized systems segment, a size category of between 10 and 40 kilowatts is established for larger rooftop systems. The feed-in tariffs will be reduced on a monthly basis, as was initially intended by the Bundestag. Small-scale rooftop systems (up to 10 kW) installed in July will receive remuneration rates of 18.92 cents/kWh, while systems from 10 to 40 kWh will receive 17.95 cents. Solar power systems with a capacity of between 10 and 1000 kilowatts will receive the feed-in tariff for only 90 percent of electricity they generate. Large-scale photovoltaic systems are eligible for feed-in remuneration only up to a maximum capacity of ten megawatts. For systems built on conversion areas (former military, landfill areas etc.), a statutory ordinance will regulate exemptions. The current feed-in tariffs for solar power are to expire with the attainment of 52,000 megawatts of total installed capacity – since 1990, approximately 27,000 megawatts have been installed (status: end of April). The feed-in priority for renewable electricity, however, is to be maintained. The Federal Government plans to introduce a follow-up regulation prior to the reaching of this limit.

PRESS CONTACT/EDITORIAL QUERIES:

David Wedepohl
Press Spokesman
German Solar Industry Association
Friedrichstraße 78
10117 Berlin
wedepohl(at)bsw-solar.de
Telephone: +49 (0)30 29 777 88 - 30

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