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Renewable power production in German cities lags far behind potential

The expansion of renewable power generation in Germany’s urban areas has advanced “below expectations again”, according to a progress report by the federal government. Only about one percent of “tenant electricity”, where renters buy power produced directly on-site, through for example rooftop PV, that could receive support has been realised, writes the Federation of German Consumer Organisations (vzbv). This means, “the goal of bringing solar energy into the cities has failed,” writes vzbv. Along with eleven other associations, they have therefore agreed on a seven-point plan for better tenant electricity, proposing that a large share of tenant electricity remuneration is given to households and that bureaucratic hurdles are removed in order to make tenant electricity attractive for small apartment buildings as well. “Only together with tenants, houseowners, landlords and service providers can the climate transition succeed,” said Thomas Engelke, team leader for energy and building at vzbv.

As land area for renewable power installations becomes scarce, German states have called for measures to make it easier to generate green power in cities. Tenant electricity was meant to encourage landlords to install solar panels and offer their tenants cheap, locally produced power, but the plan has instead been criticised from the onset for being ineffective and unfair. Both industry and economy minister Peter Altmaier have previously said efforts are not living up to expectations. 

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