Solar Energy Projects Face Extinction As Subsidies Run Out
From 1 January 2021, thousands of private solar energy projects in Germany are threatened with extinction. The reason is that the subsidies set for 20 years run out at the end of this year.
If these solar projects go offline, it would be a step backwards for Germany’s green energy transition.
From 2021, many solar operators will no longer receive feed-in tariffs. If there are no new subsidies and new regulations, a total of 18,000 solar projects from private households and small businesses could be disconnected from the grid by next year, because without the ‘Renewable Energy Subsidy (EEG), the projects are no longer economic for many operators. Anyone who built their solar projects in 2000 has received 50 cents for each kilowatt hour. However, this feed-in tariff will no longer apply from 2021. Since most private households produce more solar power than they need themselves in the summer months, the question arises of what happens to the excess electricity.
In addition to the feed-in tariff, system operators will no longer have the right to feed self-produced solar power into the grid from next year. As of January, anyone who gives their electricity to the grid for free is even liable to prosecution. So far, the only solution for solar operators would be to market the solar power themselves through intermediaries. However, the bureaucratic effort is very high.
The photovoltaic industry is hoping for new EEG subsidies, which may be passed by the federal government in autumn. Until then, it remains unclear what will happen to the self-produced solar power that is urgently needed for Germany’s green energy transition.