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World Council for Renewable Energy, WCRE Update November, 27, 2003

The German Parliament continues the lead on: progressive promotion of photovoltaic and pushs the market introduction of biofuels by 100% tax exemption.
Both laws were initiated by the Members of Parliament MP Hermann Scheer, the General Chairman of the WCRE and President of EUROSOLAR, MP Hans-Josef Fell, the Chairman of the German section of EUROSOLAR, and MP Michaele Hustedt, who is a member of EUROSOLAR.

The German Parliament has adopted today an amendment to the Renewable Energy Act to bring forward a regulation for photovoltaic. This regulation has not just been adopted by the governing parties the Greens and the Social Democrats, but has also been supported by the conservative opposition parties CDU/CSU, which underlines the broad consensus on the future of photovoltaic in Germany.

The regulation will come into force already in January 2004 and will guarantee every operator of a photovoltaic installations to receive a fixed basic reimbursement of 45.7 Euro Cent for each kilowatt hour fed into the public grid. An additional 11.7 Cent will be guaranteed for photovoltaic installations on roofs of up to 30 kW, respectively 9.3 Cent for installations of over 30 kW. For facades their will be a further payment of 5 cent. Each of this payments will last for 20 years. In addition, the former limitation to promote up to a total of 1000 MW has been cancelled in the law, too.

It is expected that this clear signal in favour of Renewable Energy will encourage investors to install more than 200 MW of photovoltaic power in the year 2004.

This new law replaces the former law, which guaranteed a general payment of 46 cent without differentiation, with the exemption of devices up to 5 kWp. These installations got an additional promotion by the 100.000 roof program that offered low-interest credits of 1.9% interest rate. This 100.000 roof-programme (300 MW) has successfully been completed this year. The total PV installation in Germany is already nearly 400 MW. Hermann Scheer expects a new incentive by this newly extended promotion and forecasts 200 MW of new PV installations for 2004, and more for the coming years.

The new law to tax exempt bio-fuels from petroleum tax comes into force in January 2004, too. Biogas, Bio-Ethanol, synthesised gasoline from Biomass, bio-diesel, hydrogen produced by biomass, and fatty acid methyl ester are 100% tax-privileged until 2009. Not just the environment will benefit from the transition to non-fossil-fuels, but also producers of bio-fuels, in particular farmers.

The new regulations for photovoltaic and the tax-exemption of biofuels are clear signs for the consequent further promotion of Renewable Energy in Germany. Other countries should follow this example and should express their commitment towards the promotion of Renewable Energies and concrete strategies.

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