Germany’s solar industry is in deep crisis and may implode in the summer as a legal end to subsidies looms.
Solutions have been around for a long time, but internal power struggles and debates over distance rules between wind turbines are holding back progress.
The country’s solar industry is collecting signatures and writing incendiary letters to politicians to finally abolish the solar cap and thus save thousands of jobs.
According to the latest survey results of the German Solar Industry Association (BSW), the industry’s business expectation index has halved in just three months, and that’s not even due to the coronavirus.
“We have never seen a comparable slump in such a short time. More and more solar companies are having existential fears,” said Carsten Körnig, BSW’s chief executive officer.
The latest figures from the Federal Network Agency show how thin the air under the solar cap has become.
At present, Germany has solar plants with a capacity of 50.09 gigawatts.
However, once the 52 GW threshold is reached – probably as early as this summer – the cap will close. This means that smaller plants of up to 750 kilowatts, which make up the majority of newly built plants, will then no longer be entitled to subsidies from the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG).
Postponed, cancelled and ignored
There are no technical reasons why the solar cap has not been abolished despite all the promises made by the grand coalition since last year. The legislative text has long been drafted and is in the hands of the Bundestag’s energy committee, right next to a draft bill by the Bundesrat, which advocated abolishing the cap in October .
But there is no white smoke rising from the Bundestag building in Berlin just yet because internal resistance is blocking the release of the law to the plenary.