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...in March 2011, it was agreed to make up to 24% annual rate reductions a permanent feature... a coalition working group is preparing a proposal with up to 34% annual rate reductions.

For those interested in policy, I detail what the "up to" is about.

The original feed-in law system in Germany had three key points: a guarantee of purchase for 20 years for each installation, a rate for the purchase for that entire period fixed in the year of installation, and an annual degression of the rate for new installations.

For photovoltaic solar cells, a fourth element was added from 2009, in the very first modification in reaction to the unplanned fast growth and price drops: the annual degression rate was made a function of prior year new installations, increasing in steps of 1 percentage point at specified limits.

Actual new installations well exceeded the highest limits set for the 2009, 2010 and 2011 degressions, and (as told in the diary) the one-off degressions in 2010 backfired. So they played with the new installations dependency instead:

  • the base degression rate is now 9%, for an 'ideal' annual new installation rate around 3 GW;
  • at 3.5 GW, 4.5 GW, 5.5 GW, 6.5 GW and 7.5 GW built in the 12 months up to September the previous year, the rate increases in steps of 3% (hence there is a 24% degression above 7.5 GW);
  • at 2.5 GW, 2 GW and 1.5 GW,  the rate decreases in steps of 2.5% (hence there is a 1.5% degression only below 1.5 GW).

What the coalition working group now wants is an increase of the steps at 3.5 GW to 7.5 GW from 3 to 5 percentage points.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Tue May 31st, 2011 at 01:48:15 PM EST

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