Thursday, October 8, 2009

German Energy Consumer Association opposes cuts in solar rates

Under FITs (the policy German users to support renewables), the extra cost of renewables is passed on to consumers as a surcharge on the retail rate. In other words, it is not part of a governmental budget, but is passed on immediately to all consumers.

If you are expecting Germany's Energy Consumer Association, a watchdog organization that regularly takes utilities to court for price gouging (and often wins), to oppose FITs because they also raise electricity rates, then read the following press release (my translation):

October 8, 2009. The Association of German Energy Consumers opposes a drastic cut in compensation for PV arrays. A dramatic reduction in the feed-in rate would be fatal for the PV sector and destroy the momentum of previous years overnight.

The billions paid by consumers to set up the PV sector would have lead nowhere, and the future of the industry would be uncertain.

Over the past few months, prices for PV arrays have fallen faster than manufacturers have been able to reduce production costs. These firms are therefore in financial trouble, and there have already been a number of bankruptcies. In China, two thirds of PV firms disappeared altogether. Politicians need to deal with this situation responsibly.

The Association of German Energy Consumers calls for the feed-in system to be maintained as it has proven to be successful.

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