Solar faces up to a self-consumption downer

The week in clean energy saw Germany add momentum to the global trend of self-consumption levies for renewable power use, while wind players enjoyed new-found confidence.


New commercial and industrial renewable power generators will have to pay a charge on the electricity they consume, according to a plan backed by the German Cabinet on January 29. Part of the reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, the proposal would mean that from August such ‘self-consumers’ would have to pay 70 per cent of the charge used to pay for renewable subsidies (the Energy Sources Act surcharge), which currently amounts to €0.0624/kWh.

Under the proposal, the first 10MWh would be exempt for owners of solar photovoltaic projects under 10kW. However, the new self-consumption charge would make the economics of installing a larger PV system significantly less attractive.

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