More Solar Power, Less Bureaucracy: Germany Introduces Solar Package I to Accelerate Photovoltaic Expansion

The German government has taken a significant step toward accelerating the construction and operation of photovoltaic systems with the introduction of Solar Package I, a comprehensive legislative initiative. This package encompasses various measures to streamline the bureaucratic processes associated with the installation of photovoltaic systems, facilitating the expansion of photovoltaic power generation.

The Cabinet’s approval of the “Solar Package I” represents a crucial milestone in achieving the country’s energy transition objectives. As one of the pioneering industrial nations, Germany aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, necessitating a substantial reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the power sector by 2035. To meet these ambitious targets, the government is committed to rapidly scaling up the deployment of renewable energies.

With the increasing demand for electricity driven by factors such as electric heating and vehicles, solar energy plays a vital role in Germany’s energy mix. The “Solar Package I” seeks to expedite the deployment of photovoltaic systems on rooftops and open spaces while optimizing the entire energy supply system.

This legislative effort marks the initial implementation of the photovoltaic strategy. The strategy was formulated through collaborative efforts involving relevant industries, federal states, and parliamentary factions during the second Photovoltaic Summit in May 2023, hosted by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK).

Germany has witnessed a steady growth in the installation of new photovoltaic systems, with nearly 6,000 megawatts of additional capacity added in the first half of 2023. This outpaces the record years between 2010 and 2012, and the generated solar power could provide electricity for around 3.5 million households annually. The Solar Package I sets a target of adding over three times more capacity by 2026, reaching 22 gigawatts. This growth is anticipated to be evenly split between open spaces and rooftop installations.

The introduction of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) granted priority to renewable energy sources in the German energy landscape. The forthcoming legislative step outlined in the current proposal builds upon this foundation, aiming to expedite photovoltaic expansion, reduce administrative hurdles, and achieve the goals set in the 2023 EEG.

One significant change involves simplifying the process of installing photovoltaic systems on balconies for citizens and businesses. This includes eliminating the requirement for prior registration with the network operator and streamlining the entry of relevant data in the Market Master Data Register.

Additionally, the legislation empowers citizens to directly access solar power generated on the rooftops of multi-unit buildings. This “Community Building Supply” approach eliminates the need to route the energy through the general power grid. Rules for billing and timely notifications during service interruptions are also specified.

Overall, the “Solar Package I” signifies Germany’s commitment to fostering renewable energy growth while minimizing administrative complexities, ultimately propelling the nation closer to its ambitious sustainability targets.