Less bureaucracy, more space: This is how the federal government wants to make it easier to install solar systems

Less bureaucracy, more space
The federal government wants to facilitate the installation of solar systems

At the latest, the Russian war against Ukraine shows that Germany must become more independent in energy policy. The federal government now wants to remove a number of bureaucratic hurdles for solar modules. Consumers should be happy.

The construction and operation of solar systems should become easier and more attractive. For this purpose, the Federal Cabinet wants to decide on a so-called solar package this Wednesday, as announced by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection. The reform is intended to reduce bureaucracy and further accelerate the recently increasing expansion of solar energy in Germany. Both private individuals and commercial operators should benefit from this.

With a balcony power plant for a few hundred euros, you can start generating solar power yourself with manageable installation effort. According to the new draft law, owners would no longer have to inform the network operator about their new system and would have to provide fewer details in the so-called market master data register, in which systems for gas and electricity generation are registered. According to the plans, the normal meter can also remain in operation temporarily, even if it runs backwards when electricity is fed into the grid. In the long run, however, a bidirectional meter is needed that records the electricity fed into the grid and the electricity drawn from the grid separately.

In the future, balcony power plants will also be available with a Schuko plug that fits into standard household sockets. The necessary standard is currently being revised by the German Commission for Electrical, Electronic & Information Technologies (DKE), a committee for the development of standards in the electronics and IT sector, which is based on expertise from business, politics and science.

There should also be less paperwork for the operation of a solar system in a house with several rental or condominium apartments or commercial tenants. Among other things, the detailed requirements for accounting, contract information and consumption are to be omitted. A new model of “communal building supply” is to be created for this purpose. It differs from the already established tenant electricity model in terms of funding and remuneration.

Solar systems under the tenant electricity model are also to be subsidized in the future on commercial buildings and ancillary systems such as garages, as long as the electricity does not flow through the general power grid on its way to the consumer. In addition, technical requirements for tenant electricity are to be reduced. The funding for “repowering”, i.e. for the expansion of an existing roof solar system for more power, for example by installing more efficient modules, should be made more attractive.

More modules in bogs

But the federal government wants to promote the construction of solar systems not only on roofs and balconies, but also on a large scale. In Germany, the construction of wind turbines and solar systems is subsidized by the state up to certain maximum values, which can be applied for in tenders. A new category for “special solar systems” on agricultural land, water bodies, moors and parking lots is to be introduced. The total capacity advertised should not be increased, but more funding should go to special systems.

Areas with low-yield soils, which according to the EU definition are considered “disadvantaged areas”, are to be opened up for the promotion of open-space solar systems. The countries can prevent this if they have already reached certain quotas for solar use of agricultural land or exclude protected areas. At the same time, there should be an upper limit of 80 gigawatts for the expansion of photovoltaics on agricultural land by 2030, at least half of which should be installed on buildings or noise barriers. The waiver of plant protection products should be financially rewarded under certain conditions in the solar subsidy.

right on the web

The reform should also create a right to the laying of connection lines for solar systems and other renewable energy systems on properties and traffic routes. Negotiations with every property owner or mode of transport would then no longer be necessary, which the German Farmers’ Association criticizes harshly. “The planned toleration obligation for lines is constitutionally questionable, is tantamount to expropriation without compensation and disregards the rights of the managers and property owners,” explained Secretary General Bernhard Krüsken. He warned of a loss of acceptance.

In the ministry of Economics Minister Robert Habeck from the Greens, they are quite proud of the newly developed “Practice Check” that was used when drafting the bill. Officials play with experts from the field, which problems there are in everyday life with existing regulations – for example when building a solar system on the roof of a house.

The Federal Association of the Solar Industry praises the resulting draft, which will lead to “redemption disarmament”. “Simplifications are planned for almost all PV market segments, from small plug-in solar systems to large solar parks,” says General Manager Carsten Körnig. “Procedures are accelerated, access to power grids, funding offers and solar park locations is facilitated.” However, the expansion of commercial buildings must be supported even more and European manufacturers must be challenged more specifically in international competition.

In the legislative process, it is now up to the Bundestag to discuss the plans and ultimately have to decide. The plan is for the changes to come into effect at the turn of the year. The goal of the government made up of SPD, Greens and FDP is to increase the share of renewable energies in German gross electricity consumption to 80 percent by 2030. Last year it was 46 percent. According to the ministry, the increase in photovoltaics last year was around 7.5 gigawatts. In the current year, up to July alone, more than 7.5 gigawatts were added, and double-digit growth is expected.

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