German trade group calls for global industry support as fears arise from proposed FiT changes

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Described as ‘solar phase-out legislation’ by the German PV trade association, BSW-Solar, the proposed feed-in tariff changes are claimed to be leading to a short-term decline of the German PV market of 75%, should the changes be passed into law. BSW-Solar fears that, despite considerable opposition from the solar industry, the new legislation is likely to be passed in a meeting of the Federal Cabinet tomorrow.

In a plea letter to members, the trade association is calling for direct action by all trade associations around the world to sign and stamp with logos a prepared letter that will be forwarded to Chancellor Merkel today.

The campaign to include the whole PV industry draws on the perception and in many cases the fact that other countries have looked at the German FiT system as being a model system, especially in the early years of PV adoption, as other countries have implemented similar systems to benefit from clean energy and job creation.

The letter notes that the suggested cuts would amount to a 30-40% degression in the FiT in 2012, on top of the 15% reduction that occurred at the beginning of the year.

The letter also stated that: “It is very unlikely that this massive curtailment can be compensated by further price reductions, in light of the 50 percent drop in system prices that Germany has experienced over the past three years.”

Demonstrations were held across Germany when the FiT changes were announced. However, the short time before implementation was considered by industry insiders to be a carefully contrived action to limit the damage and apply pressure to change policies, as a campaign opposed to them would take time to build. Previous campaigns to have changes amended had proved successful.

The call for support is the first time such action has been requested.

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