Friday

15th Nov 2019

Focus

Germany to cut solar energy subsidies

  • Germany to cut solar energy subsidy and channel some of the funds to wind energy (Photo: Brookhaven National Laboratory)

Germany's solar power industry could cool as Berlin plans to cut subsidies in a sector whose energy capacity output has more than doubled the government’s projected target.

German authorities want to slash up to 30 percent of the industry’s subsidies they claim is increasing the surcharge paid by consumers and taking funding away from other renewable energy sectors like wind.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 year's of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen and Economy Minister Philipp Roesler will present their plans on the cuts on Thursday (23 February) around noon.

Despite last year’s subsidy cuts, around 7.5 gigawatts (GW) of solar panels, the equivalent of six nuclear power stations, were installed in December alone resulting in €8 billion of state funding to the industry. A policy that guarantees a fixed price for the next twenty years helped entice investors to construct the photovoltaic stations.

Germany wants to reduce yearly installations down to a solar energy output between 2.5 GW to 3.5 GW. The aim is to reach 66 GW by 2030 and completely phase out its dependence on nuclear energy by 2022.

Currently at 25 GW, Germany has the world’s largest solar power capacity yet only generates around 3 percent of its electricity. The OECD says total renewable energy subsidies in Denmark are about half of Germany's yet it generates 30 percent of Danish electricity as opposed to 20 percent in Germany.

Germany’s solar energy industry claims the cuts and China’s rising competition could provoke layoffs among the 120,000 who work in the sector.

"Further drastic cuts in support for solar power are not viable. In addition, they endanger Germany’s access to one of the world’s largest future-oriented markets and pose a real risk to the transformation of the energy system as well as to over 100,000 jobs in Germany," said a statement made by the German Solar Industry Association in January.

Sahara wind and sun to power EU homes

This year, somewhere in Morocco, work will begin on the construction of what is to become a vast network of solar and wind energy farms in the Sahara to provide 15 percent of Europe's electricity.

The growing pains of the solar industry

The solar industry is in disarray. But, experts say, this is nothing out of the ordinary. It is just going through a painful but necessary process.

Denmark leads EU countries on wind energy

European wind energy is picking up as recently released statistics by the European Wind Energy Association show an upward spike in the number of wind farms created, amount invested, and energy generated.

News in Brief

  1. Germany: EU banking union deal possible in December
  2. EIB: no more funding of fossil-fuel projects
  3. UK defence chief: Russia could trigger World War III
  4. Hungary's Varhelyi will face more questions
  5. Police put former Berlusconi MEP Comi under house arrest
  6. MEPs criticise Poland for criminalising sex education
  7. UK will not name new commissioner before election
  8. Trump expected to delay EU car tariff decision

Podcast

Cultural Battlefield

Marta Keil knows firsthand the pressure on culture from Poland's ruling Law and Justice party. Her overview begins at the Polski theatre in the city of Wrocław, and describes an epic clash as the Polish museum sector is steadily hollowed-out.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  3. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture
  5. UNESDAUNESDA appoints Nicholas Hodac as Director General
  6. UNESDASoft drinks industry co-signs Circular Plastics Alliance Declaration
  7. FEANIEngineers Europe Advisory Group: Building the engineers of the future
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  9. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021

Latest News

  1. EU threatens legal action against UK over commissioner
  2. Corruption in the Balkans: the elephant in the room
  3. Green MEPs unconvinced by Romanian commissioner
  4. EU states fell short on sharing refugees, say auditors
  5. Hungary's commissioner-to-be grilled over loyalty to Orban
  6. Widow's plea as EU diplomats debate Magnitsky Act
  7. Leftist MEPs call on EU to address crisis in Chile
  8. Mustard gas and cod: Last chance to stop Nord Stream 2?

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us