Revised German Renewable Energy Act 2021 released
The revised version of the renewable energy act 2021 was released in Germany beginning of January 2021. A variety of changes to the law enable developers of green energy installations to realize their planned projects.
One of the main changes for photovoltaics is the increase of the upper capacity limit for tenders from 10 to 20 megawatts. This allows for larger projects to receive guaranteed feed-in-tariffs over a duration of 20 years. Further, the distance from highways and railways in which photovoltaic projects receive a feed-in-tariff increased from 110m to 200m which again opens more possibilities to plan and construct new projects.
Another important element of the revised law is the introduction of innovation tenders for new technologies such as agrivoltaics and floating solar. Together with the already existing innovation tender for hybrid projects this new segments allows for further opportunities, in particular given the scarcity of suitable land in Germany.
Whilst the changes to the law are not as ambitious as they were expected to be, some of the amendments point into the right direction. Besides the already mentioned extension of technical and commercial limits for guaranteed subsidies it is predominantly the possibility to participate local municipalities in the electricity sales. Initially for wind and later potentially for solar PV the owner of a plant can pay up to 0.2 Cent per produced kWh to local municipalities. Considering the increasingly complex permitting processes and the high degree of opposition in some areas, this is a mechanism which could lead to improved acceptance of such projects.