German economy minister Robert Habeck on Friday presented a draft strategy for an accelerated solar energy rollout as the country aims to have 215 GW of installed solar capacity by 2030.
The strategy was devised by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) and envisages measures in 11 areas that need to be implemented as Germany must triple its new solar installations within a few years to 22 GW annually from 7.18 GW added in 2022.
The measures include clarifications in the Federal Land Utilisation Ordinance for photovoltaic plants in industrial and commercial areas, simplifications in the building code and a concept for agrivoltaic systems.
The expansion of residential rooftop PV capacity should be supported through an adjustment to the direct marketing obligation and the promotion of solar panels on buildings in the outdoor area as well as more benefits for installations for self-consumption.
Other measures aim to speed up the connection of solar plants to the power grid, simplify rules for the deployment of solar systems on balconies, promote research and development activities and ensure that enough skilled workers are on the market.
The draft is now open to consultation with input and comments expected by March 24, 2023. After that, the strategy will be revised and finalised with the final version to be presented at the beginning of May.
Solar energy association BSW Solar welcomed the strategy, saying that the government's goal to triple the share of solar energy in electricity consumption from the current 10% to around 30% in the next ten years is without alternative.
The association outlined several issues that need to be addressed such as removing bureaucracy and barriers to the market and network access as well as hurdles in the planning process; removing restrictions for the selection of areas for solar projects; providing subsidies that appropriately reflect higher costs for capital, components and labour; and ensuring planning certainty.
In addition, BSW calls also for support for the faster expansion of storage and grid capacity and the development of an industrial strategy that would ensure reliable supply chains for the solar industry.
At the end of 2022, Germany had 66.5 GW of solar systems in operation. Of the 7.18 GW of fresh capacity deployed in 2022, about 4.4 GW came from rooftop solar.
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