Angela Merkel’s coalition government lock horns on German feed-in tariffs

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

German environment minister Norbert Röttgen continues his adamant refusal to cap new PV installations. However, perhaps in order to reach some semblance of a compromise and placate his Free Democrat coalition partners, he has suggested bringing forward reductions in the country’s FiTs by three months to April 1.

Röttgen has said he does not wish to concede to the demands of Economy Minister Philipp Roesler, leader of the FDP, to cap new installations at 1GW per year, but instead seeks to leave PV installations capped at between 2.5GW and 3.5GW per year.

Röttgen said that there was not yet any concrete plan for the level of cuts he aims for on April 1. It was also still unclear if future reductions would be made each month in smaller steps or on a semi-annual basis as they have been in recent years. Röttgen and Roesler are to meet next week in order to reach a beneficial conclusion and put an end to the speculation and uncertainty surrounding the industry.

“My goal is to change the law effective April 1,” Röttgen told journalists after a meeting with Christian Democrat members of parliament to discuss speeding up cuts in the FiT. “It's important that we act quickly. A concrete cap would choke off the industry”.

Hans-Josef Fell, member of the opposition Green party, said that it would be difficult to see changes passed by April 1. He added that the plans could also upset investors. “It's unrealistic to believe that a new draft law can be ready at the end of February and that the law will take effect on April 1. It's all just an early April Fools' joke.”

But Röttgen has warned against the impulsive implementation of cuts, but rather that changes should be thoroughly scrutinized and backed by the upper house of parliament with the support of opposition parties to pass the measures quickly, which could be interpreted as distributing responsibility should his recommendations backfire on the industry.

Joachim Pfeiffer, a senior CDU member, told reporters that his party’s deputies were in broad agreement with Roesler's proposal for alternative cuts from a little more than 10% to as much as 40%. The FiT has been falling by between 15% and 30% in recent years, depending upon solar capacity added in the previous year.

The environment minister has said he is canvassing for cuts to solar farm installations that already receive lower incentives due to problems they cause to the grid. About a third of last year's installations were on fields and not on rooftops.

Germany gets about 20% of its electricity from renewable sources, of which 4% is from solar power. Germany has a total of about 25GW of installed PV capacity – about half of the world's total.

Currently, producers of PV electricity are guaranteed fixed rates for 20 years from the point of installation. The FiT this year is €0.2443kW/h, down from €0.49 for systems installed in 2007. Electricity in Germany costs about €0.23kWh, meaning grid parity has almost been achieved faster than was expected. Customers foot the bill, paying approximately €0.02kWh in addition to their electricity bills.

1 December 2021
Join this virtual conference on 1-2 December 2021 for expert presentations covering PV Module Technology, Supply & Site Optimisation for Utility-Scale. Delegates can access streamed presentations, session recordings and chat/messaging tools to connect with fellow delegates and speakers. Speakers include leading developers, manufacturers, testing and research institutes, including: NREL, Silicon Ranch, Sonnedix, Heliene, Powertis, LONGi Solar, JinkoSolar, PVEL, Risen Energy, Seraphim, STS, Trina Solar, Eternalsun Spire, QEERI, Fraunhofer, Estuary Capital Partners and VDE
2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.

Read Next

November 26, 2021
Renewables developer and asset owner Grasshopper Energy has signed an agreement that could support the development of up to 1GW of solar in Romania by 2030.
November 26, 2021
Portugal has launched its latest solar auction that is set to allocate 262MW of floating PV to be installed at seven dams across the country.
November 26, 2021
The European Commission (EC) has approved a €2.27 billion (US$2.56 billion) Greek scheme to support 4.2GW of installed renewables capacity after assessing it in the context of EU state aid rules
PV Tech Premium
November 26, 2021
Average market prices for 182mm solar wafers fell by nearly 7% this week, falling to levels not seen in almost two months, however other material and component costs have remained high.
PV Tech Premium
November 26, 2021
Faced with the threat of curtailment as more renewables enter the grid, utility-scale solar developers are heightening their focus on hybrid PV-storage projects to take advantage of demand for flexibility services and falling battery costs.
November 25, 2021
Assurance and risk management provider DNV is acquiring cyber security firm Applied Risk as it looks to build a security practice focused on defending industrial assets against emergent cyber threats.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021
Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal

Cyber Monday Flash Sale – 50% off our subscriptions

24 hours only