German Bundesrat rejects 'solar tax'

Germany’s upper house of parliament, the Bundesrat, has rejected a government proposal to extend 50% of a surcharge to finance the expansion of renewables to self-consumed renewable energy, Germany’s solar industry association BSW says.

Instead, the Bundesrat has voted for a rate of only 15% of the surcharge – or about €0.01 per kilowatt hour – to be paid by producers of renewables who consume their own energy.

The levy – dubbed “solar tax” by the BSW as it would affect thousands of new solar installations – was deemed harmful to the future expansion of PV in Germany.

The Bundesrat can delay the legislation, but does not have a veto power over it in case the lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, will approve the government proposal without changes.

The BSW said it hopes the Bundestag will follow the Bundesrat’s lead in June and also reject the establishment of the “solar tax” at 50% of the rate of the renewables surcharge.