Bioenergy, Geothermal, Hydropower, Solar, Wind Power

Germany Passes Laws to Push Renewable Energy

The World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and the European Association for Renewable Energies e. V. (Eurosolar) reported that the German Parliament is progressively supporting renewable energy in Germany through laws designed to promote photovoltaic (PV) technology and push the market introduction of biofuels by a 100 percent tax exemption. The Members of Parliament (MP) that initiated both laws included MP Hermann Scheer, the General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and President of Eurosolar; MP Hans-Josef Fell, the Chairman of the German section of Eurosolar; and MP Michaele Hustedt, who is also a member of Eurosolar.

Bonn, Germany – December 2, 2003 [] The German Parliament’s amendment to the Renewable Energy Act, which was designed to bring forward a regulation for PV, was adopted by the governing parties (the Greens and the Social Democrats) and also has been supported by the conservative opposition parties: Christlich Demkratische Union (the conservative Christian Democratic Union, or CDU) and Christlich Soziale Union in Bayern (the regionally conservative Christian Social Union in Bavaria, or CSU). WCRE said the eclectic support underlines the broad consensus on the future of PV in Germany. The regulation will come into force in January and will guarantee that every operator of a PV installation will receive a fixed basic reimbursement of ý0.457 (US$0.546) for each kWh fed into the public grid. An additional ý0.117 (US$0.14) will be granted for rooftop PV installations of up to 30 kW, and ý0.093 (US$.11) for rooftop installations of over 30 kW. For PV installations integrated into the facade of buildings there will be a further payment of ý0.05 (US$0.06). Each of these payments will continue for 20 years. In addition, the previous limitation to promote up to a total of 1000 MW has been cancelled in the law, too. WCRE expected that this clear signal in favor of renewable energy will encourage investors to install more than 200 MW of photovoltaic power in Germany by the year 2004. This new law replaces the former law, which guaranteed a general payment of ý0.46 (US$0.55) without differentiation, with the exemption of devices up to 5 kW. These installations got an additional promotion by the successfully completed 100,000 Roof Program (300MW) that offered low-interest credits of 1.9 percent interest rate. The total PV installation in Germany is already nearly 400 MW. Hermann Scheer said that he expects a new incentive by this newly extended promotion and forecasts 200 MW of new PV installations for 2004, and more for the coming years. The new law to tax exempt bio-fuels from petroleum tax in Germany also comes into force in January. Biogas, Bio-Ethanol, synthesized gasoline from biomass, bio-diesel, hydrogen that is produced by biomass, and fatty acid methyl ester are now 100 percent tax-privileged in Germany until 2009. According to WCRE, Germany’s environment and producers of bio-fuels (in particular farmers) will benefit from the transition to non-fossil-fuels. WCRE interprets the new regulations for PV and the tax-exemption of biofuels as clear signs for the consequent further promotion of renewable energy in Germany. WCRE is encouraging other countries to follow Germany’s example by expressing similar commitment towards the promotion of renewable energies and concrete strategies.