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German economy ministry mulls action on looming solar power support cap

The maximum volume of solar power capacity eligible for support in Germany could be reached soon and the country’s economy ministry (BMWi) may take action to make sure that this will not dent solar power expansion, Sandra Enkhardt writes for pv magazine. With just about 4 gigawatts (GW) of free capacity remaining, the maximum of 52 GW could be reached by the middle of 2020, after which solar power installations of up to 750 kilowatts would no longer benefit from Germany’s guaranteed remuneration scheme for renewable power installations, Enkhardt writes. Andreas Feicht, state secretary for energy in the BMWi said “we need to do something” about the looming support cap, adding that the government coalition parties, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance and the Social Democrats (SPD), already are in talks to make sure the country’s solar power expansion is not hindered by the current legal situation. The SPD said it would be ready to lift the cap and called on the CDU/CSU to “give up its blockade mentality”, the article says.

A continued expansion of its national solar power capacity is a vital component of Germany’s climate and energy policy, which aims to reach a renewables share of 65 percent in power consumption by 2030, up from about 38 percent in 2018. While the business climate in the country’s solar power industry has reached a new all-time high this year, the industry warned that the cap could mean that investors suddenly pull out of the market and put the needed expansion at risk.

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