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Subsidy changes might fail to rejuvenate German solar power growth

laura raus | icis energy | 10 august 2016 

PA’s Marcel Muenz, an energy expert, is quoted in an article in ICIS Energy, discussing Germany’s growth in solar power.

The article explains that some experts believe that Germany is unlikely to achieve its annual solar capacity growth target due to changes to the subsidy system that parliament passed in July. 119MW of new solar capacity came online in June, making it the fourth consecutive month in which installed capacity grew, however in comparison, only around 50MW was installed in February. Marcel says that this growth will be sustained over the long term and that it is “rather seasonal”. 

“It is difficult to install new solar plants in winter and capacity additions typically start declining after September, says Marcel.

Marcel goes on to say that whether the target will be missed for a third time is the subject of debate.

The article then goes on to talk about the upcoming elections in autumn 2017 which Marcel says is “weighing on the sector”.

He goes on to say that renewable energy subsidies are financed from a fee levied on electricity consumers. “The government did not want to bring about an increase of the fee ahead of the elections by handing out more solar subsidies,” says Marcel.

Marcel continues: “Subsidy system changes for bringing solar capacity growth closer to the target range are likely after the elections.”

“I would assume that in 2017, there will be regulatory changes to promote [solar capacity for] self-consumption to make it more attractive to house-owners and the tendered volume will maybe increase to 0.8-1GW,” says Marcel.

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