Renewable Energy Act Amendments Shift Demand to German Rooftop Segment

By Germany Trade And Invest, PRNE
Thursday, July 8, 2010

BERLIN, July 13, 2010 - Amendments to the photovoltaic feed-in tariffs of Germany's
Renewable Energies Act (EEG) were passed today, marking a shift towards the
rooftop segment. Germany's Bundesrat (lower house of parliament) approved the
amendments this morning, clearing the way for them to become law. The changes
abandon field installations on cropland and increase the attractiveness of
the own consumption bonus for small and medium-scale rooftop installations.
Germany Trade & Invest will have representatives on hand at this year's
Intersolar North America in San Francisco, California, from July 13-15 to
introduce opportunities for photovoltaic (PV) companies in Germany.

Implemented retroactively to take effect July 1, feed-in
tariff rates will be reduced by 13 percent for rooftop installations and
eliminated for cropland field installations. At the same time, conversion
areas will see a reduction of 8 percent and all other areas will be decreased
by 12 percent. Beginning October 1, these rates will again be reduced by a
further 3 percent. Still, the new tariffs remain highly attractive, with
rates anticipated to range from 25.02 - 34.05 EURc/kWh for installations
connected between July 1 and October 1 and 24.26 - 33.03 EURc/kWh for those
connected during the remainder of the year. The new amendments also more than
double the federal target of annual installed capacity to 2.5 - 3.5 GWp.

The law, which was established ten years ago, requires power
companies to buy renewable energy from system owners at the corresponding
feed-in tariff rate for 20 years, guaranteeing an attractive payback time and
high returns. Even greater income can be secured by utilizing the "own
consumption bonus," which is paid to rooftop installation owners of systems
smaller than 500 kWp who intend to use the energy they generate.

For 2009, photovoltaic installations amounted to 3.8 GWp,
making Germany again the world's largest PV market and an attractive
investment location for PV companies. Germany accounted for approximately one
of every two newly installed modules worldwide. For 2010, some experts
predict the market could double its 2009 mark.

Increased Demand by Private Users

The changes to the EEG are a reaction to the increased price
competitiveness of photovoltaic systems, including the recent price drop for
solar panels and components. These developments have created a number of new
market opportunities for PV companies. The shift in focus that favors the
rooftop segment is expected to further increase demand for installations by
private users who overwhelmingly prefer high-quality systems. Changes are
also leading to growing demand for energy storage systems and smart grid
applications to fully profit from the own consumption bonus. Decreasing
system prices and rising electricity prices have enabled the German market to
approach grid parity sooner than expected. By 2013 energy from renewable
sources is expected to be competitive with conventional energy sources in the
private user electricity market.

Quality Segment Boosts Attractiveness of Local Production

Manufacturers in Germany not only have easy access to a large
and growing market, they also benefit from a significant competitive
advantage through a local brand presence and reputation for high quality
products, which is valued by private users and in the rooftop segment.
Germany's PV industry also benefits from the highest density of R&D
institutes in the industry. At the same time, the country boasts a well
established industrial infrastructure, large equipment supplier base, and
qualified and experienced workforce.

An indicator of confidence in Germany's photovoltaic cluster
strength, international companies First Solar and Avancis as well as German
PV companies SolarWorld and Juwi have announced major expansions in Germany
in recent weeks. All of these new investments are for sites in Eastern
, a major manufacturing hub for Germany's globally renowned
photovoltaic industry.

Germany Trade & Invest will have representatives at this
year's Intersolar North America at the German Pavilion, Level 1, Booth Number
7523A to meet with companies interested in the world's photovoltaic leader.

Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward
investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The
organization advises foreign companies looking to expand their business
activities in the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to
German companies that seek to enter foreign markets.

    Germany Trade & Invest
    Eva Henkel
    T: +49(0)30-200099-173
    F: +49(0)30-200099-111

Germany Trade & Invest, Eva Henkel, Email: eva.henkel at, T: +49(0)30-200099-173, F: +49(0)30-200099-111

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