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Bavaria seeks to scrap 52 GW German solar cap

Power

05 Nov 2018 11:30

Berlin

05 Nov 2018 11:30

(Montel) The German state of Bavaria will seek to scrap a national cap on subsidies for solar energy expansion, the state’s incoming government agreed in a coalition deal on Sunday.

The Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party of chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), will form a state government with the Free Voters. 

“We want to pressure the federal government to abolish the 52 GW cap on photovoltaic expansion,” the parties said in their coalition deal.  

The centre-right government was committed to producing “as much energy as possible” in Bavaria and rooftop installations offered “substantial potential” to grow solar without requiring additional land, the parties added. 

Germany already has around 45 GW of solar, with about a quarter of installations – or 12 GW – located in Bavaria, which tends to have the country’s best conditions for the technology.

Current legislation foresees ending new feed-in tariffs for rooftop installations once the cap is reached. Thereafter, investors may continue to build rooftop units but they will receive no incentives.

Auctions to grow solar energy – which will continue – favour free-standing arrays rather than the rooftops of households or businesses. 
 
Political division?
The junior coalition partners in the state, the Free Voters, were unable to move the CSU to drop its commitment to tough zoning restrictions on wind turbines. 

Bavaria’s so called 10-H regulation requires new turbines to be located at a distance of 10 times their height from residential areas. 

Critics say the law has effectively stymied wind investments in the state, though 69 MW of capacity were tendered in Bavaria in the latest auction, more than any other state. 

The coalition attributed most of the failed expansion of wind energy in Bavaria to the nature of Germany’s system of auctions, which favour wind investments in the country’s north.

The coalition would push federally for a “southern quota” within the wind auctions, the parties said. 

They would also push for reliable incentives for biomass generation beyond 2020, as many face the risk of decommissioning if they are obliged to make do with remuneration via the power market.  

The coalition was additionally committed to the quickest possible federal exit from coal generation, though it did not elaborate on a preferred exit date. 

Bavaria has no coal mining, in contrast to states in the west and east more tied to the fuel.

The CSU lost its outright majority in the state at an election last month. It slipped to 37% of the vote, forcing it into a coalition with the Free Voters, which received 11%. 

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