German Solar Industry Association

Programme published for accelerated solar power deployment in Europe

With the aim of ac­celerating the development of solar power all over Europe, photovoltaic associations from twelve EU states have agreed on a dedicated programme. At the centre of the demands addressed to politicians and grid operators are concrete recommendations to simplify licensing and grid connection processes. The programme was drawn up by the international project group “PV Legal”, which is coordinated by the Bundesverband Solarwirtschaft e.V. (BSW-Solar – German Solar Industry Association). For the programme, the legal and administrative conditions for the installation of solar systems were analysed and the practical experience of the industry in respect of costs, time and effort quantified.

Accordingly, one of the biggest obstacles to the growth of solar power is the licensing procedures. Installation operators often have to wait several years for a licence before they can start planning the installation. After, at the instigation of PV Legal, considerable progress could be made in the past year in removing this obstacle for on-roof installations in Greece, the project is now demanding a broad licence exemption for all small solar installations on roofs in Europe. For all other installations, more streamlined licensing procedures with only one responsible administrative office (“one-stop-shop model”) as introduced in Portugal, where licensing procedures for small installations were changed several months ago to a simple transfer of the installation data on the Internet. If possible, there should be no handling fees. Trading with PV licences should be prohibited.

A simplification of the structures is also urgently necessary with regard to the procedures for grid connection. This includes the legislator formulating a right to the connection of renewable installations and setting reasonable deadlines, for example a period of six weeks. Non-compliance with these deadlines should be penalized. Also important: not only grid operators, but also certified installation companies should be permitted to connect systems to the grid.

The photovoltaic experts of the associations are also advocating a government regulation to make network data such as the utilization of the regional grid, capa­city and voltage level publicly accessible, for example on the Internet. Furthermore, independent institutions should check how much solar power can be integrated in the existing grids in the different regions of Europe. Regional development planning, according to another demand of the expert committee, should not discriminate against renewable ­energies compared to coal and nuclear energy.

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