06/08/2012

BDEW on the current development of solar power generation:

Solar power generation continues to increase

In May 2012 solar plants generated four billion kilowatt-hours of electricity / Müller: Decisions should be taken on cutting funds – amendments are necessary

Berlin, 8 June 2012 – According to the latest figures of the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft - BDEW), the month of May was a record month in terms of photovoltaic energy: for the first time, somewhat more than four billion kilowatt-hours (billion kWh) of electrical energy were produced from solar energy. This corresponds to about ten percent of the monthly electricity consumption in Germany and an increase of some 40 percent compared to the preceding year. To date, the highest value totalling 2.6 billion kWh was recorded in May 2011, BDEW reported. 10.5 billion kWh of solar power have been generated in the period from January to May (2011: 7.6 billion kWh). In May 2012, German wind power plants generated 2.9 billion kWh of electrical energy. Between January and May their electricity generation amounting to 22.0 billion kWh accounted for twice the volume of solar power (2011: 18.4 billion kWh).

The strong increase of feed-in from photovoltaic this year is attributable to the further development of solar plants and favourable solar conditions, BDEW reported. According to calculations of the sector association, this development entails additional costs which have amounted to date to 460 million Euros more than planned in the context of the calculations of the 2012 EEG levy. It remained to be seen how the EEG account will develop during the year.

The energy industry basically supports the further development of renewable energies and invests billions in these energies every year. „However, the previous development of photovoltaic power generation and the increasing legally guaranteed payment currently shows that the unabated growth continues. The development of renewable energies and the associated costs are not sufficiently controlled. Priorities are no longer correct: While costs in the network are regulated down to the last Cent and investments are not sufficiently promoted, an enormous burden is imposed on the consumers as a result of the Renewable Energy Sources Act“, Hildegard Müller, Chairwoman of the BDEW General Executive Management Board explained. „It is therefore all the more important now to decide a cut in solar power funding“, Müller said against the background of the forthcoming talks between the German Federal Government and the German Laender. On 13 June, the Mediation Committee intends to deal, among other things, with the reduction of solar power funding. Apart from the planned cut in funding provided for in the present draft of the EEG amendment law, there is a need for considerable additional improvements.

For example, the approach defined in the draft law with regard to the market integration of electricity from solar radiation energy was wrong. „The BDEW considers that this basically important goal is not achieved by the „Photovoltaic market integration model“ in its present form“, Müller said. In addition were undesired side effects, such as the redistribution of the costs arising from the energy transition. Müller: „There will arise cost-relevant risks for network operators and electricity sales companies as well as a considerable effort in terms of handling the implementation of this model. All things considered, an unnecessary enormous increase in administrative burdens is to be expected which will entail corresponding costs and is therefore rejected by the BDEW.

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