• Germany edition
 
Cut in solar power support sparks row
Photo: DPA

Cut in solar power support sparks row

Published: 24 Feb 2012 09:02 GMT+01:00
Updated: 24 Feb 2012 09:02 GMT+01:00

Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen, of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Economy Minister Philipp Rösler, of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) this week presented plans to cut solar power subsidies by one-third, prompting environmental groups to express their disappointment.

Solar power producers will now only receive between €0.135 and €0.195 for every kilowatt hour they send to the grid. Despite this, Germany still plans to build new solar power facilities with a total capacity of 2,500 – 3,500 megawatts over the next two years.

Röttgen said photovoltaic power must “grow in a sensible framework when it comes to costs and maintaining grid stability.”

Rösler described the solar power subsidies as “sweet poison” for solar power operators. “If, out of €12 billion set aside by the Renewable Energy Act, €6 billion is spent on photovoltaic power, when it accounts for three percent of electricity production, then obviously we have to think about its economic value,” he said.

Ulrich Kelber, deputy parliamentary leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party (SPD), criticized Rösler sharply. “The government’s plans to attack solar power have Rösler’s ideological handwriting all over them,” he said. “He has imposed his will on the environment minister.”

Green party parliamentary leader Jürgen Trittin accused the government of sacrificing Germany’s switch to renewable energy for the sake of peace in the coalition. He called the subsidy cuts, “completely out of proportion and therefore irresponsible.”

“The agreement frightens investors, endangers thousands of jobs and hurts climate protection,” he added.

Greenpeace energy expert Sven Teske said the plan threatens 130,000 jobs in 10,000 mid-sized companies, while World Wildlife Fund board member Eberhard Brandes described the deal as a “tragedy for energy policy.”

DAPD/The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:31 February 24, 2012 by 1TruthTeller
For climatic reasons alone solar power can only do so much. No matter how much the Greens jump up and down all in a flap, the science speaks for itself. Solar energy has to be seen as a part of an entire energy plan, and not as a stand-alone panacea. It's not. However, factored into a reasoned, long-term plan which includes other forms of renewables and an inevitable carbon-based power supply, it makes sense. What also makes sense is that subsidies be rationalized. Just handing out cash for the 'feel-good factor,' which seems to have been going on up until now, doesn't make sense. Sound finances, a German oxymoron, need to be brought into play here.
12:55 February 24, 2012 by Simon_Kellett
Rsler: nice confusion: he seems to be trying to suggest that 50% of something produces 3% of something else. But he is comparing a Renewable subsidy? with a percentage of total energy production. Apples and pears !!
15:17 February 24, 2012 by derExDeutsche
in 2010, US Solar Panel producers donated large amounts of money to the our Presidents election campaign. Today, some of those producers are bankrupt and have cost taxpayers over a billion dollars, even though our President knew that taxpayer money would never be paid back. And to think, a home loan and a special Rate on VW lease with no evidence of any favors is enough to bring down the President of Germany.
15:58 February 24, 2012 by Civical
My estimate is that Solar power in Germany accounts for approx 17% of installed capacity from which you are getting 3% of supply at a price around 10 X the bus bar price average for Europe. I wouldn't fancy paying your electricity bills in the future (if you have much electricity anyway). Go on turn those Nukes back on you might save enough to bail out the Greeks.
17:01 February 24, 2012 by neunElf
These enviro-facists will continue to push for more subsidies until the economy finally breaks!

Artificially burdening an economy, based on manufacturing and exporting, with ever increasing and inefficient energy will kill the goose that lays the golden eggs!

Wake up people!

Your future is in the balance.
18:47 February 24, 2012 by carlm
The Al Gore man made global warming fraud is dying a death of a thousand cuts with each passing day.

The world has centuries worth of fossil fuels that can be used with minimal environmental damage.

Let the greens and their stupid ideas make it on their own without any taxpayer help, if they can.

I still remember the "forests are dying" fraud of the 80's due to high speed driving on autobahn's.

These crooks will never stop.
19:08 February 24, 2012 by derExDeutsche
These 'green' crooks still claim that their view is the Consensus. Ha.

Funny that there was once a consensus stating that the earth was flat. It took brave people to dispute that consensus, as well. They can't comprehend the truth, because it isn't written into their Bibles.
21:02 February 24, 2012 by narfmaster
*sigh* Once again people feel compelled to comment without having a clue what is going on...The idea behind the German solar subsidies was to increase the cost of power for everyone a certain percentage (I think it was 3%) and then to use that money to promise a certain price for the feed in tariffs. Feed in tariffs are the amount of money someone gets paid for the power their pv panels send back to the grid. That amount is more than the market cost of electricity. In this way, it makes sense to buy panels because you sell power for more than you buy it, thus a good investment.

This was fine for a while, but then something happened. The price of panels dropped very quickly, due to technological advancements but also the Chinese coming into the market. Suddenly, many people in Germany were installing panels. That meant the 3% extra in the normal price of electricity was no longer enough to cover everyone. Instead of taxing more, they lowered the amount that went to the homes with solar panels. The tax has remained the same, but as more panels were installed, less was paid out to each individual. The FDP seems to be against anything ecological and the CDU like to watch the books, so they could both agree to not raise taxes or borrow more money to fix the difference.

I personally think they should raise the tax on power or get the money from gasoline taxes or some such and keep the subsidies a bit higher so as to continue the spread of panels across the country. It's free energy that doesn't require digging a hole in the ground and freeing up captured carbon. They should also promise more loans to solar energy companies as that is what the Chinese have done and why they are more competitive. The very things Obama is getting criticised for, lending money to solar companies, is what the Chinese are doing. Non-Chinese countries put their companies at a disadvantage and shouldn't be surprised when they get mowed down.
21:55 February 24, 2012 by derExDeutsche
@narfmaster

as it turns out, trying to compete with China, producing Solar Panels might not be in everyone's best interest . ESPECIALLY when solar panels are yet to prove that they are worthwhile investments. But we aren't talking about the prudent thing to do are we? no, we're really just talking about your misguided sense of 'morality' and your very own self interest? Agreed, I am sure Solar Panels are great business for China. They get some pretty amazing perks from the Governemtnt there, no doubt. It sounds like your kind of place.
22:38 February 24, 2012 by ProgandaLady
http://youtu.be/4OwIo05nsNA
15:59 February 25, 2012 by moshe rosen
Please help me understand this position that has been taken.

Germany takes a very big step towards eliminating Nuclear power. Good for the country!

Now they seem to have stepped backwards on this position. Why?

I can only suppose that Germany has no intentions on really doing away with the Atomic Energy plants.

Please!, make up your minds and then stick with it. Any holdup on utilizing solar energy will put us right back where we were.

To an outsider, or insider, it seems the people running the system are schizo!
Today's headlines
Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?
A Russian tank at a military parade in Moscow in May. Photo: DPA

Has Merkel's Russia policy failed?

A foreign policy expert in Chancellor Angela Merkel's own party said on Thursday Russia was fighting a "war" in Ukraine. Despite dozens of phone calls to President Vladimir Putin, Merkel's policy of restraint seems to have completely failed. READ  

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos
Passengers look at messages about the damage this morning at Ostkreuz. Photo: DPA

Arson attack causes Berlin train chaos

Travellers in southeast Berlin can expect disruption on the S-Bahn until Sunday morning after an arson attack damaged a cable duct on Thursday morning, affecting services on six lines. READ  

Germanwings' pilots will strike on Friday
Photo: DPA

Germanwings' pilots will strike on Friday

UPDATE: Pilots at Lufthansa's budget airline Germanwings are set to strike on Friday, after talks between management and a union broke down on Thursday. READ  

Germany posts weaker job figures
Photo: DPA

Germany posts weaker job figures

Unemployment in Germany remained steady in August, official data showed on Thursday, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy and the eurozone as a whole. READ  

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire
The facade of the Mevlana mosque was badly damaged by smoke from the fire. Photo: DPA

Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire

UPDATE: Investigators now believe a fire which damaged a mosque in Berlin earlier in August was started deliberately. READ  

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa
The Haus am Bogensee. Photo: DPA

Berlin struggles to sell former Goebbels villa

After two failed attempts, Berlin is trying again to sell the sprawling estate and villa once known as Joseph Goebbels' illicit love nest, but so far, nobody's buying. READ  

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis
Cem Özdemir empties a bucket of water over his head next to a cannabis plant. Photo: Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

Greens boss films ice challenge with cannabis

What looked like just another ALS ice bucket challenge video has become a political statement after the leader of Germany's Green Party Cem Özdemir confirmed he filmed his clip next to a cannabis plant. READ  

What's next for East Berlin?
Photo: Gehry Partners LLP/Timo Hermann - bbz landschaftsarchitekten/DPA/Living Bauhaus/DPA

What's next for East Berlin?

In the second of a two-part series on Berlin’s future, The Local looks at the major developments in former East Berlin. From palaces to bridges, what’s next for the East? READ  

Germany sends six soldiers to Iraq
A transport plane which carried German aid in Erbil. Photo: DPA

Germany sends six soldiers to Iraq

Germany has sent six soldiers to northern Iraq to coordinate deliveries of aid and military equipment to Kurds fighting Islamist terror group Isis. READ  

Berlin's most expensive flat sells for €5.7 million
Berlin's Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most luxurious addresses in the city. Photo: DPA

Berlin's most expensive flat sells for €5.7 million

A Berlin property firm has set a city-wide record for the most expensive apartment sold, closing a deal for €5.7 million on a centrally-located penthouse. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Education
Raising the bar for law & business in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,692
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd