Germany eases solar rules as new installations surge
Germany’s energy minister has announced plans to ease bureaucratic hurdles to solar power as the country set a new record for photovoltaic installations in the first quarter
BERLIN– Germany’s energy minister on Friday announced plans to ease bureaucratic hurdles to solar power as the country set a new record for photovoltaic installations in the first quarter.
Europe’s largest economy added 2.7 gigawatts of solar power capacity in the first three months of 2023, putting it on track to exceed the 9 GW target this year, up from 7 GW in 2022.
Energy Minister Robert Habeck said he hoped Germany would install new double-digit photovoltaic capacity for the first time this year, a milestone in the country’s drive to become carbon neutral from here 2045.
The government wants to install 215 GW of solar power in Germany by 2030, more than tripling the existing capacity in seven years.
To achieve this increase, Habeck announced a series of measures that would cut red tape, including speeding up the planning and approval process for PV on buildings and on undeveloped land.
While many changes relate to minor bureaucratic issues that have had a significant deterrent effect on companies and individuals wishing to use solar energy, other measures aim to boost the production of photovoltaic panels in Germany and train workers to their installation.
Solar power accounted for more than 10% of German electricity generation last year, compared to around 23% for wind power. The country aims to produce 80% of its electricity from all forms of renewable energy by 2030.
Habeck, a member of the green environmentalist party, has faced allegations of nepotism in recent days over how key positions in his ministerial portfolio have been filled since he took office at the end of 2021.
Asked about the criticism, Habeck said mistakes were made when appointing the head of Germany’s Energy Agency, a government think tank, but insisted other positions had been filled. transparently with safeguards to avoid conflicts of interest.