Bloomberg News

Germany Delays Solar Aid Cuts for Ground Units, Lawmakers Say

March 27, 2012

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition agreed to delay cuts in aid for some ground-based solar-power plants by six months until Sept. 30, lawmakers said.

The change is an exemption to a bill that would start subsidy reductions in Germany, the world’s biggest solar-power market, on April 1. Merkel’s government aims to cut the annual pace of solar installations by half after incentives for the industry pushed capacity past government targets.

“We are putting in place significant restrictions on the cost of solar power,” Michael Kauch, a Free Democratic Party lawmaker who helped draft the bill, said in an e-mailed statement. Merkel’s Christian Democratic caucus confirmed the amendments in a separate statement.

Under the changes, subsidy cuts for solar plants built on sites such as former garbage dumps or former military bases will be waived until Sept. 30, according to the statements.

Subsidies would automatically decline further if solar capacity expands more than the government’s goal of between 2,500 megawatts and 3,500 megawatts per year, according to the statements. If installations lag behind that pace, the aid cuts would be eased.

Subsidies for power fed into the grid from rooftop units would apply to 80 percent of the generated electricity, compared with 85 percent in an earlier draft. The change is aimed at spurring homeowners to use more of their own solar power.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Czuczka in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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