German Bundestag passed solar feed-in tariff reductions

Mar 29 2012 Published by under European and German energy law

Yesterday, the German Bundestag (Parliament) passed new legislation to further reduce the solar feed-in tariff. There have been a couple of changes to earlier drafts. The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety has a page up describing the new law here.

This law must still pass the Bundesrat (Parliament representing the German States) in May, but it is expected to do so. Anyway, in this case, if it does not pass there, the ruling CDU and FDP can overrule the Bundesrat and enact it anyway.

As was already in the first drafts, there will be only three categories in the future. small rooftop solar systems of up to 10 kW will see their tariffs reduced to 19.5 cents, rooftop systems larger than that will get 16.5 cents, and land-based systems will get 13.5 cents.

The time frames until the new law takes force have been prolonged from the first drafts, which aimed at avoiding a fire sale extra demand. Which very likely already has happened right now.

And the idea of giving the Economy Minister the power to change feed-in tariffs by Ordinance, bypassing Parliament, has also been dropped.

In the future, tariffs will be reduced more constantly, by 1 percent each month. This value changes according to the amount of solar installed, similar to the old system.

Another new idea is that small rooftop systems’ owners need to use 20% of the electricity themselves, which is not unattractive, since the feed-in tariff is already cheaper than consumer prices for electricity. Systems between 10 and 1,000 kW only get 90% feed-in tariff payments.

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