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CDU chancellor candidate Laschet calls for rooftop solar subsidy programme

Armin Laschet, North Rhine-Westphalia’s state premier and chancellor candidate of the conservative CDU/CSU alliance, has unveiled his “energy masterplan,” which calls for an ambitious new programme to subsidise the installation of solar photovoltaic systems on the roofs of homes and buildings. “We can achieve an increase of at least 10 gigawatts annually with a solar package,” Laschet wrote in a guest column in Welt am Sonntag. Laschet said his government would launch the Germany Roof Program with the government-owned KfW Bank, which would provide interest-free loans to ensure that people can afford rooftop solar.

Laschet stressed the country’s need for accelerated renewables expansion in order to power the increased use of electromobility and heat pumps. In addition to solar, Laschet said he would also focus on wind, water, biomass and geothermal power as alternative natural sources of energy. Emphasising the need for “more market, less regulation,” Laschet said renewables had long been competitive without state regulations. “The generation of electricity from renewable sources is already cheaper today at three to nine cents per kilowatt-hour than, for example, coal-based electricity or nuclear energy. So far, renewables have been subsidised on the one hand, and saddled with levies, taxes and bureaucracy on the other. These burdens must be removed.” Laschet said his government would “completely abolish” the country’s renewable energy surcharge. Ending the surcharge would reduce costs for electricity across the board and help avoid social hardships, Laschet had previously said.

Germans will go to the polls on 26 September. The CDU/CSU, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party are currently head-to-head in the polls. Laschet’s unveiling of the solar roof programme comes at a time where he is criticised for his lack of commitment to ambitious climate policies and serious modernisation attempts.

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