An overwhelming majority of German solar companies fear that a planned new levy on self-consumption will further push down new installation figures and destroy more jobs in the already battered solar industry in what until recently was the world’s largest PV market, a poll carried out by Germany’s industry federation BSW Solar finds.
Sigmar Gabriel in a draft for a reform of Germany’s Renewable Energies
Act (EEG) wants to extend 70% of a renewables supplement (EEG Umlage) paid
by power consumers on top of normal electricity
prices to apply to power produced for self-consumption.
With the current
level of the supplement, that would mean that producers have to pay
€0.04 ($0.06) per kilowatt hour of electricity they produce for their
Ninety per cent of
solar businesses fear that Germany’s 2.5GW annual solar installation
target will no longer be achieved once the levy on self-consumption
kicks in, while 95% expect a loss of orders, and
82% think more solar jobs will be lost.
Repeated cuts to solar support
and cheap Chinese competition have already destroyed half of the 130,000
jobs Germany’s solar sector once harboured, the BSW says.
“Instead of getting
businesses to give up their plans to invest in a clean electricity
production by the means of a renewables supplement, those responsible
for the greenhouse effect should be asked to pay
more,” says BSW Solar managing director Carsten Körnig.
small rooftop PV installations are slated to be exempt from the levy, so
it would hit mostly industries and other commercial users of
self-produced PV power, a market segment that had
been increasing lately as module prices have plummeted.
The cabinet in
Berlin is slated to approve the EEG reform in early April, and Gabriel
hopes to push it through parliament before the summer recess.