The German Federal Parliament once again decided on an earlier adjustment of the promotion of solar electricity. The Federal Council had already given the green light for the adjustment in March.

After the renewed amendments of the Renewable Energies Act ("EEG"), the promotion of solar electricity may be reduced by an additional 3 to 15 percent as of July 1 of the current year. Since the legislator is assuming planning times to be longer for ground-mounted systems, the adjustment of solar-electricity remuneration for such systems is not intended to take place until September 1, 2011.

However, the adjustment of promotion only applies of the expansion of PV capacity will be correspondingly great this year. Thus, the new regulations provide for a reduction of the promotion of solar electricity step by step and oriented on market growth. The basis of the calculation of the respective reduction in promotion is the demand for PV systems in the months of March through May. The development for the overall year will be forecast on the basis of that period of time. Should expansion exceed the mark of 7.5 gigawatts, the feed-in remuneration will be reduced by 15 percent. If expansion only exceeds the mark of 3.5 gigawatts, the feed-in remuneration will only be reduced by three percentage points. The exceedence of each further gigawatt causes a reduction by a further three percentage points, respectively, until the maximum reduction of the guaranteed feed-in remuneration by 15 percent is reached.

The regular reduction by nine percentage points will additionally apply as of 2011. Thus, taking into consideration the earlier degression by a maximum of 15 percent, the entire degression could consequently amount to a maximum of 24 percent as of January 1, 2012. According to corresponding statements, on the basis of the expansion figures which have become known so far, researchers are currently rather expecting a lesser decrease of the remuneration for solar electricity as of the approaching middle of the year.

The most recent modifications of the statutory remuneration for solar electricity took place in the context of the European Law Amendment Act Renewable Energies ("EAG EE") (cf. also the report on the EAG EE in this issue of the Newsletter).