Germany’s solar industry is to be subjected to four subsidy cuts over the next 12 months, according to the revised draft of the country’s Renewable Energy Act [EEG]. The final two of these reductions had not been included in the original amendment to the bill and their addition is a major blow to the country’s solar industry.
The original draft of the act included cuts in mid-2011 and January 2012. However, during a public hearing on Wednesday, the Environmental Committee of the Lower House of Parliament revealed there would be further reductions to the feed-in tariff (FiT) "by a one-time amount of 6%" on March 1, 2012 and then again at the mid point of the year.
The Federal Cabinet plans to adopt the EEG draft next Monday and the Environmental Committee will then canvass opinion from experts and associations at a public meeting.
In response to the announcement, the German Solar Industry Association, BSW-Solar, has written an open letter to German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel appealing against further cuts to the FiT. The letter, signed by around 30 companies in the PV industry claims that, "The government decided on new cuts of up to 24% per year for solar electricity just in March. There is no latitude for an additional 6% digression – uncoupled from market growth – as provided for in the current bill."