|21 March 2012:|
German PV installation running wild
State subsidies for solar energy cut down at short notice
The German federal ministers for environment and economy, Norbert Röttgen (CDU) and Philipp Rösler (FDP), have agreed on cutting down PV subsidies. For small PV systems (< 10 kW) the support will be reduced from 24.43 to 19.50 Euro cents per kWh (20%) and for the largest plants from 18 to 13.50 Euro cents (25%).
Prices of PV components have been falling, perhaps due to idle industrial capacity in China. Therefore PV investments have become gilt-edged and 7,500 MW new PV capacity was installed in Germany in 2011. This is three times the expected volume. The total installed capacity in Germany is now 25,000 MW.
According to the new rates the support will be reduced every month henceforward by 0.15 Euro cents per kWh.
The change has caused a fierce debate in Germany. Environmental organisations and affected businesses are protesting loudly. For instance the TV station ARD shows a large construction site with a farmer who recently decided to invest in a large PV facility. He feels deceived because it is impossible to stop the project.
Economics minister Philipp Rösler defends the intervention: "We must also think of the electricity customers and the consumers who are supposed to pay the subsidies for the solar energy. Electricity must also be affordable."
Increased regulating work
The maximum vertical load in the TenneT area was 14 GW in 2011 while the maximum combined wind and PV production was 13 GW.
It could be assumed to be an advantage that the PV production has a daily cycle, but unfortunately the daylight has gone during the evening peak load most of the year.
The 50.2 Hertz problem