05 Feb 2024, 14:34
Franca Quecke

German state govts call for special support for domestically manufactured solar power products

Handelsblatt / Clean Energy Wire

In a resolution, the council of German state governments (Bundesrat) called for special support for solar power products manufactured in the country or the European Union in order to strengthen the domestic industry. The Bundesrat called for the implementation of so-called "resilience bonuses or auctions." This would mean, for example, that higher feed-in tariffs would be paid for solar systems that are primarily produced in Europe. Such instruments are necessary for European photovoltaic (PV) companies to have a chance on the global market, as China heavily subsidises its own solar sector, said the council. It also called on the federal parliament to pass the so-called “solar package I” as quickly as possible, at the latest in time for the council’s next meeting on March 22. These legislative reforms are designed to speed up solar energy expansion in Germany, for example by simplifying regulation and the expansion of rooftop systems.

Germany plans to triple its solar power capacity by 2030, and the EU is considering to introduce quotas for domestic solar technology production with its Net-Zero Industry Act. Although the demand for solar power systems is higher than ever, the supply of cheaper Chinese PV modules has caused prices to fall. Business daily Handelsblatt reported that solar manufacturing companies Meyer Burger and Solarwatt, and also solar PV producer Heckert Solar, are questioning Germany as a location for solar panel production. Further production would be dependent on shifting political framework conditions, Handelsblatt said. It is "clear that there can only be production here as long as it is profitable," said Heckert Solar head Benjamin Trinkerl, adding that production had been cut back and new investments had been paused. 

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