Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New German solar rates taking shape

As I mentioned recently, the German cabinet was scheduled to meet today to further discuss proposals for rates cuts. Word is now trickling out that the cuts will take effect for roof arrays on June 1 instead of April 1, and the rate will be cut by 16 percent, not 15 percent. So essentially, a compromise was reached.

Ground-mounted arrays will have rates cut by 15 percent effective July 1, probably with two exceptions. First, rates may only be cut by 11 percent if the land is not available for use otherwise (contaminated old military grounds, etc.) to encourage such arrays; and second, the rate for farmland arrays has not yet been specified but should be expected to be high enough to discourage widespread investments.

The new legislation also looks like it will include special compensation to encourage "internal consumption" -- which English speakers can basically just think of as net-metering. I will have to look into what the new proposal is a bit further, but it seems clear already that the ceiling for net-metering will be raised from the current 30 kilowatts to one megawatt.

In all of this, keep in mind that the governing coalition still hopes to have three gigawatts of installed capacity each year, several times more than any other country plans, and will actually decrease further rate increases if that goal is significantly fallen short of.

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