The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Germany Slashes FIT Subsidies in an Effort to Rein in Solar Power Installations

Solar power has grown so massively in Germany that the government now plans to rein in the boom in photovoltaic installations by cutting generous subsidiaries.

On Thursday, after reaching an agreement with the Economics Minister Philipp Roesler, German Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen announced the most severe wave of subsidy cuts since the government began supporting solar energy in 2004.

The move comes after a further massive expansion of solar power production capacity in Germany last year and the associated costs for consumers who, in the end, pay for the above-market rates of renewable energy.

The government of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who aims to replace nuclear power plants with renewable energy, has proposed cuts of 20 to 29 percent. They're deeper than the 15 percent reduction ordered in January and they're a month earlier than planned.

Among the key changes:

  • systems up to 10 kW will be subject to a 20.2 percent reduction to 19.5 euro cents per kWh;
  • systems from 10 to 1,000 kW will face a 25 and 29 percent reduction to 16.5 euro cents per kWh:
  • systems larger than 1,000 kW will see an approximate 26 percent reduction to 13.5 euro cents per kWh;
  • subsidies for systems over 10,000 kW will be dropped entirely in the future;
  • new small systems will only be remunerated for 85 percent of the electricity produced, while middle-sized and large systems will receive remuneration for 90 percent.

With its proposed changes, the government hopes to contain new capacity to between 2.5 and 3.5 gigawatts this year and next year, down from 7.5 gigawatts in 2011.

From 2014, the government targets a yearly reduction of 400 megawatts and from 2017 between 900 and 1,900 megawatts.

Germany is hardly alone in its efforts to contain costs for supporting the nascent solar power industry: France, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom are equally tweaking their subsidies to align with falling solar panel prices and control the explosive growth.

In Germany, solar prices plunged more than 45 percent last year, due largely to rising Chinese competition.

Not surprisingly, the German government's proposals have drawn hefty criticism from the solar energy industry.

First-Solar manager David Wortmann called the cuts "a slap in the face." First-Solar is specialized in supply systems for large open spaces. His competition agrees. Phoenix-Solar CEO Andreas Haenel said the large-space market segment would be "strangled."

Carsten Koernig, head of the German solar industry association BSW, warned that thousands of jobs were in danger. Dietmar Schuetz, president of the German Renewable Energy Association BEE said the subsidy cuts represented nothing less than "an attack on the renewable energy law."

Nor are all politicians pleased with Merkel's move. Juergen Trittin, head of the Green Party parliamentary fraction, called the cuts "unreasonable" and said they carried the signature of Merkel's pro-business coalition partner, the FDP, which has shown less interest in supporting renewable energy.

The proposals will go to the cabinet next week and then on to lawmakers.

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

Listen Up: Can I Get Solar if my Roof is Shaded?

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World Rooftop solar panels only work when they are in direct sunlight. So if you have a partially shaded roof, the output o...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

US, China Solar PV Players Team Up, Invest $100M in Chile, Uruguay and Japan

Andrew Burger Private equity infrastructure specialist Hudson Clean Energy Partners and Hong Kong-based independent power producer ...


Fronius Shifting the Limits in Solar-Plus: It’s not just about products, it’s about solutions.

Fronius USA, who just recently launched the all-new Fronius SnapINverter line this past...

IREC Announces Changes in Regulatory Team

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), a not-for-profit organization which for...

IREC Awarded New Funding to Advance Digital Credentials

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) proudly announces funding for an innovat...

$100 Discount on 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience Workhop

Upcoming 5-day Workshops: Nov. 7 - 11 Feb. 6 - 10


NY Gov. Cuomo Pledges to Create Carbon Market use Solar, Wind to reduce Climate Change

This week former Vice President Al Gore joined with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to sign the Under 2 MOU, a directi...
clean energy

In Clean Energy, The Truth Matters

A group of about 20 protesters gathered outside the Sheraton in Burlington, Vt., early on Oct. 8 as attendees arrived...

Industry Focus: Cleantech: 1366 Technologies joins Solarcity in New York

1366 is set to build a factory just up the road (OK, it is a long road – NYS Thruway) from Solarcity.  The...



Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Solar Power Northeast

  From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sol...

Solar Power Asset Management and Performance

SEIA and SEPA collaborated with industry leaders to present the first ev...


Join us at the New Solar Power Northeast

From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sold out P...

Saving Vs. Gaining

Whenever I do a national keynote speech or customized coaching session f...

SPI Brings Out The Best In Solar

Phew…...those cross-country flights sure take a lot out of a guy....


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now