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"Acute need for action": Business and environmental associations warn of solar subsidy freeze


ZEIT ONLINE | News, backgrounds and debates

Berlin (dpa) - In a brand letter to the federal government, business and environmental associations warn of a funding freeze for new solar power systems. This would result in a “significant drop in demand for solar technology and major damage in the solar industry”.

In 2012, a “conveyor cover” with an installed solar capacity of 52 gigawatts was introduced for cost reasons. The subsidy costs are paid by consumers via the electricity price. In the course of its climate protection program, the federal government had promised to abolish this cover - but this has not yet been implemented. The background is also reportedly a dispute in the coalition over the further expansion of renewable energies

The dpa letter from the associations states that there is an “acute need for action”. In view of the anticipated early effects, the photovoltaic subsidy limit will be reached in April. A subsidy freeze would unsettle consumers, municipal utilities, private entrepreneurs and other investors - who worked together to increase the considerable climate protection potential of solar energy in the metropolitan areas and in the country.

It is also said that a freeze on funding would shake confidence in the climate policy credibility of the federal government massively. “In view of the challenges ahead of us when it comes to implementing the climate targets, it would in no way be understandable if, in addition to the serious problems of the wind industry, the solar industry with its more than 30,000 employees would now encounter avoidable difficulties.

The abolition of the solar conveyor cover and the minimum distances from wind turbines to residential buildings were originally part of a draft for the planned coal phase-out law - but the two points were then decoupled again. There are still controversial issues within the federal government regarding the coal phase-out law.

The associations are now calling for the "political promise" to remove the solar cover at the beginning of 2020 to be implemented in an early article law immediately and without further delay.

The solar industry has long called for the funding cover to be deleted. The open letter to the members of the Bundestag and the federal government has been signed by twelve associations - including the Federal Association of the Solar Industry, the Federal Association of German Housing and Real Estate Enterprises, the German Nature Conservation Association, the Association of Municipal Enterprises and the Federal Consumer Association.

Source: zeit

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