After several shortcuts in demand, germans are building significantly fewer solar systems on their roofs than in previous years. In each of the past three years, about 7,500 megawatts of new solar capacity had been added; in 2013, it was only about 4,000 megawatts, said federal environment minister peter altmaier (CDU). So the costs for the consumers could be mitigated. While the plants installed in 2010 alone cost the burghers 2.2 billion euros this year, the plants installed this year cost only about 300 million euros. The demand costs are apportioned to the consumer electricity price by means of an eco-electricity surcharge.
"The expansion of photovoltaics was completely out of control in the last three years," altmaier said. A year ago, the federal and state governments therefore reformed the solar requirement – altmaier said the effect of the reform exceeded expectations. In addition to automatic further reductions above a certain size, there will no longer be a requirement for new installations with an installed capacity of 52,000 megawatts.
According to altmaier, this limit will be reached in 2017 or 2018. Due to high electricity prices, more and more citizens are using solar power from their roofs to supply their own electricity. Altmaier affirmed that there should also be a similar regulation with a cap for wind energy.
For every kilowatt hour of solar power, a fixed feed-in tariff is paid, guaranteed for 20 years. Citizens pay the difference between the price they receive on the electricity exchange and the feed-in tariff via a surcharge on the price of electricity. Despite the slowdown in solar expansion, the levy will continue to rise – because prices on the electricity exchange fall when more wind and solar power is generated. On many days there is simply oversupply. Even without further expansion of eco-electricity, the differential costs of the levy are growing.
One problem is the high solar tariffs of previous years. For a plant connected to the grid in july 2009, 43.01 cents per kilowatt hour will be paid over 20 years – here there are enormous differential costs when the price at the electricity exchange falls below 3 cents in some cases. For a now in july newly reported small plant there is only 15.07 cent remuneration. In the first six months of 2013, only 1800 megawatts of new solar power were installed, including 315 megawatts in june. In june 2010 alone, the figure was a whopping 2109 megawatts.