Is the German Government Likely to Compromise on Solar Subsidies?

An agreement reached by federal and provincial governments in Germany means cuts to solar energy subsidies in the country will not be as severe as previously expected, PV Magazine reports. A crisis summit that was scheduled for today has been cancelled.

Germany’s state governments were able to summon considerable opposition to the proposed cuts to subsidies for the country’s photovoltaic systems. German newspaper the Financial Times of Germany reported today that federal and state governments had come to a “tentative consensus” after a meeting that involved Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen and Federal Minister for Economics Philipp Rösler.

Representatives from the southern state of Bayern and Christian Democrat-led states in east Germany, Thuringia, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt could have brought about big changes. The federal government was forced to step back from the situation in order to prevent the states from invoking an arbitration committee, which would have further delayed the EEG, or Renewable Energy Act. Several Christian Democrat politicians have said they would vote with the Social Democratic Party for an arbitration committee if a change to the bill was not considered.

However, politicians from the east German states are still wary. “We will call for an arbitration committee, should the federal government not react, so that the branch can live,” Thuringia’s minister Christine Lieberknecht told local media. She noted that the industry is showing healthy growth, so there is no need for adjustments. She added that she has not “met any private power users who are upset over the EEG surcharge.”

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