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Solar package: Germany sets to supercharge solar energy production

 The solar package just passed by the German federal cabinet “relieves photovoltaics of unnecessary bureaucracy”, according to German Greens MEP Sven Giegold.

He said that “thanks to countless suggestions from companies, authorities and civil society” the expansion of photovoltaics in the EU27 is set to move at record speed.

The solar package contains a whole outpouring of shredded red tape for solar energy. 

It will, he claims be easier for companies, farmers, citizens and municipalities to invest in photovoltaics.

In 2022, on the proposal of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), the Bundestag passed the “Easter Package” with major improvements in approval procedures and financial support for renewables. 

Afterwards,Giegold says he and others held countless discussions and analysed proposals as part of the government’s photovoltaic strategy. 

“The result is evident: Renewables are far cheaper than energy from fossil sources but held back by red tape which protects conventional sources of energy. If this red tape is cut the renewables will develop their full potential to move us to 100% renewable energy,” he says.

He adds, “The result is a collection of 151 pages of reduced bureaucracy and improved framework conditions in this solar package. We combine citizen participation and bureaucracy reduction.”

What is in the solar package?

  • Make the roofs full: Retailers with large roofs in particular have often only covered parts of their roofs with solar cells because of bureaucratic direct marketing obligations. This will now be simplified. This was developed in a so called “practice check” with, among others, the Lower Saxony Energy Agency and the German Retail Association (HDE).
  • Simplify tenant electricity and community solar systems: We simplify the joint use of electricity from a photovoltaic system. Unnecessary bureaucracy is eliminated, e.g. having to fulfil all the obligations of an electricity supplier as an operator.
  • Boost for balcony solar systems: Plug-in solar systems will become a new category of solar systems with less bureaucracy. Instead of two registrations, only one will be required – and this one will be simplified. For the time being, backward running analogue electricity meters will be tolerated. In future, plug-in solar systems can also be operated in addition to roof-mounted solar systems without producing unnecessary disadvantages for the roof-mounted solar system. To be fully effective for plug-in solar systems, the law still needs the adaptation of technical standards by the VDE (more precisely DKE), a German technical-scientific association.
  • The MEP added, “After the Federal Government’s decision, the ball is in the Bundestag’s court. Now the MPs can further improve the solar package and pass it quickly! It is worthwhile to bring further ideas for strengthening solar energy to the attention of the members of the Bundestag.”

    The solar package will, he says, further accelerate the expansion of photovoltaics. In 2022, 7.5 GW were added, in the first half of 2023 alone 7.8 GW (net). 

    “From 2026 we want to achieve 22 GW per year.Half of this will be on rooftops.

    “The expansion of renewables at high speed will make electricity cheaper. Smart electricity meters will enable businesses and households to benefit from low electricity prices on the power exchange more and more hours a year. 

    “New business models will develop based on cheap renewable energy. Not to mention, we will save ourselves the import of expensive fossil fuels.”

    The Greens member added, “The many individual proposals in this solar package would not have been possible without the many comments from companies and associations.”

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