Rat Race: Germans rush to install solar before subsidy cuts


Climatewire reports:

Solar companies are rushing to complete last-minute installations in Germany as the country delays subsidy cuts of up to 29 percent until April 1 instead of March 9.

The sprint to beat the deadline and qualify for more generous feed-in tariffs may lead to a whopping 5 gigawatts of solar panels being installed in Germany in the first quarter of the year — normally a sleepy period for the solar industry due to snow and cold temperatures.

By comparison, Germany installed 7.5 GW of solar panels last year, second in the world after Italy, according to the European Photovoltaic Industry Association. The two countries accounted for 60 percent of global installations in 2011, which rose to 27.7 GW from 16.6 GW the previous year…

The subsidies will be cut by 20 percent for rooftop installations, by 25 percent for commercial installations larger than 1 megawatt but smaller than 10 MW, and by 29 percent for larger plants. Additional cuts of 15 euro cents per month will take place every month starting in May, implying an additional 7 percent cut by the end of the year…

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