Germany’s lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, has approved an amendment to the country’s Renewable Energies Act (EEG) that aims at reaching 65% of renewables in the country’s power mix by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2050.
But the lackluster reform disappointed the wind and solar sector as it didn’t provide measures seen as effective enough to foster the repowering of large volumes of renewable energy capacity that will lose their subsidies under the EEG legislation after 20 years.
“For the first time, we are legally anchoring the target of greenhouse gas neutrality before the year 2050 in Germany’s power supply,” economics and energy minister Peter Altmaier said.
“To this end, we are introducing a whole range of individual measures - from facilitating self-consumption to financial participation by municipalities in the expansion of onshore wind energy.”
Germany’s wind energy federation BWE said measure for the continued operation of wind farms that lose their EEG support, or a simplification of repowering, are pointing in the right direction, but are not enough.
“There is also no clear emphasis on repowering in the law. In view of almost 16GW that will be excluded from EEG subsidies in the next five years, Germany could become a leading international market here,” BWE president Hermann Albers said.
The solar industry federation BSW said an envisaged growth of less than 5GW in new installations per year was insufficient to reach Germany’s 2030 targets and demanded double that amount.
“If the government doesn’t correct this failure quickly, it will inevitably provoke an extension of the life of fossil-fuel power plants, which is unsustainable in terms of climate policy," BSW managing director Carsten Körnig said.
Also, while the amendment contains improvements such as a waiver on the payment of a supplement to finance the renewables build-up (EEG levy) also for medium-sizes rooftop solar, it is at the same time creating new hurdles for solar by forcing operators of larger solar roofs to either only get support for half of their installation or participate in tenders.