Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Solar energy on the rise in Germany

www.dw.de
1 Jan 2013

Solar energy is on the rise in Germany, with a record 1.3 million photovoltaic systems in 2012. The increase comes as new consumer taxes on energy are to take effect in the country. The recent solar boom means the alternative form of energy now reaches 8 million homes in Germany, a 45% increase compared to 2011, the German Solar Industry Association (BSW) said on Tuesday.

"Germany is now reaping the fruits of its efforts in solar technology," said the BSW's chief executive, Carsten K├Ârnig. "Its share of the power supply has quadrupled in just three years. At the same time, the price of a new solar power system installation has halved."

The new numbers come as a consumer tax increase on energy takes effect. Starting this month, taxes will increase on consumer power bills from 3.6 € ¢ to 5.3 ¢ per kW hour in a bid to help finance the cost of the country's switch to renewable energy. For the average three-person household in Germany, that 47% increase will cost an extra 185 euros annually.

Solar energy currently accounts for about 5% of the country's total electricity usage, the BSW said. The association aims to increase that number to 10% by 2020 and at least 20% by 2030.

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