Controversial Parliamentary Hearing on Solar Feed-in Tariff Reduction Amendment

The German Parliament yesterday held a hearing on the potential effects of the proposed cuts for solar feed-in tariffs in the Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz – EEG).  Not surprisingly, the experts disagreed on what would be an acceptable reduction level.

Holger Krawinkel of Bundesverband der Verbraucherzentralen (Federal Association of Consumer Protection Agencies) and Frank Peter of Prognos AG mainly supported the proposed cuts, warning against unjustified burdens for consumers.

Dr. Wolfgang Seeliger of Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, the state-owned bank of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, pointed out that the proposed EUR 100 million promotion scheme for the solar industry was nothing compared with the support of the Chinese government for its solar industry. Dr. Seeliger said he feared the German solar industry would significantly suffer, if the proposed cuts entered into force.

According to Prof. Eicke Weber of Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems, an additional one-time cut of feed-in tariffs by 6 to 10% was feasible. Higher cuts would endanger Germany’s position in the photovoltaic sector, a key industry.

Angelika Thomas of IG Metall highlighted the relevance of high solar feed-in tariffs for businesses in East Germany.  Reducing the feed-in tariffs too quickly would endanger 70,000 to 100,000 jobs.
Alexander Neuhäuser of Verband der Elektro- und Informationstechnischen Handwerke (Association of Electrical and Informational Trades) requested a stable framework for his industry, with a considerably lower reduction of the solar feed-in tariffs.
Aribert Peters of Bund der Energieverbraucher (Association of Energy Consumers) also criticised the planned reductions. He considered the costs for the expansion of photovoltaics acceptable.

Source: heute im bundestag Nr. 120

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