BERLIN (Dow Jones) – The German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) has commented critically on the planned extension of solar funding. Renewable energies should “quickly be put into competition and opened up a prospect in the market”, says the association in a statement on an expert hearing scheduled for Monday in the Bundestag’s Economic Committee. However, the planned abolition of the solar cover, which has so far limited expansion support with a maximum installed capacity of 52 gigawatts, does not achieve this.
The coalition had already decided on the project with the climate package in autumn. The solar industry has been pushing for this for a long time. Now the further photovoltaic funding is to be implemented before the summer break – in the course of a change in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) via an annex to the Building Energy Act. The DIHK emphasizes that better framework conditions for self-consumption of solar power would suffice. “This includes the abolition of the EEG surcharge and the abolition of the strict personal identity between plant operators and electricity consumers.” The latter would result in roofs being better used for the further expansion of photovoltaics. Currently, the bureaucratic effort to delimit so-called third-party electricity quantities on the company premises deter many companies from investing in their own systems.
Solar industry: 20,000 jobs threatened
In contrast, the Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft (BSW) argues in its statement that a subsidy freeze would lead to a slump of up to 80 percent in the industry. 20,000 jobs are threatened if the solar cover is not removed.
Basically, the industry association recommends contracts for electricity deliveries (Power Purchase Agreement, PPA) without going through the spot market. Energy producers and companies directly agree on the supply. This had to be taken into account in a comprehensive amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act, which also included certificates of origin for plants, a regular reduction in the maximum values, the link with network acceptance criteria and more innovation tenders. The DIHK also criticized the planned regulation for onshore wind power, according to which each country could set minimum distances itself. It would be better to have a nationwide regulation, “since the application of the law in the individual federal states is very different and it therefore appears questionable that the addition desired by the federal government can be achieved”.
The energy expert Harald Schwarz from the Brandenburg University of Technology in Cottbus-Senftenberg fundamentally rejects further funding for pure wind and solar expansion. In his expertise, he points out that the two types of green electricity do not increase security of supply, but rather decrease it, because electricity is not available around the clock. “Significant technical efforts will be required in the area of storage, sector coupling and also complementary generation,” writes Schwarz. He therefore suggests postponing the coal phaseout until a reliable system integration of renewables is available.
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DJG / pso / cbr
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 11, 2020 10:23 ET (14:23 GMT)