24 Aug 2020, 12:23
Julian Wettengel

Conservative climate MPs call for “bold” renewables reform

Clean Energy Wire

Parliamentarians from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU/CSU alliance are calling for a “bold” reform of renewables laws and regulation to ensure the success of the energy transition and climate action. In a paper entitled “Impulses for the EEG reform” (EEG = Renewable Energy Act), seen by Clean Energy Wire, the Conservative’s “climate group” says that the continued operation of old solar panels and wind turbines which will stop receiving fixed feed-in tariffs after a 20-year period is a particular challenge. To ensure that operators do not run into economic difficulties despite  the hardware still being fully functional, the MPs propose support programmes for small-scale solar installations to help them directly sell their power to the market. The “climate group” comprises the conservative parliamentary group’s rapporteurs for climate issues, who can be seen as the parties’ more progressive members on the topic. The group also calls for (higher) payments by wind park operators to the communities where they are located and better consulting services for citizens’ energy projects. New buildings should have to come with solar panels. The parliamentarians write that auctions for biomass facilities should be extended beyond 2022, the current cut-off year, and at higher volumes. To ensure that Germany reaches the government’s goal of expanding renewables to 65 percent share in power consumption by 2030, the states should set their own binding renewables expansion targets, says the paper.

Starting in 2021 and throughout the 2020s, many of Germany’s pioneer wind turbines, solar PV installations and biogas plants will stop receiving fixed feed-in tariffs, meaning many gigawatt in renewable capacity may be shut down if they can’t find a new business model to run on. This potential loss of renewable power capacity comes at a decisive time for Germany’s energy transition, as the country plans to increase the share of renewables in power consumption in order to reach its emission reduction targets and to gradually increase the use of electricity in all sectors. The federal cabinet is currently scheduled to adopt a major EEG reform on 23 September, according to planning seen by Clean Energy Wire.

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