Germany’s energy minister, Robert Habeck, has announced a series of measures to ease bureaucratic hurdles for solar power. This follows the country’s new record for photovoltaic installations during the first quarter of 2023. Europe’s largest economy added 2.7 gigawatts of solar power capacity during this period, indicating that it is on course to beat the target of 9 GW for this year, compared with 7 GW in 2022.
Installation of New PV Capacity in Double-Digits
Habeck is optimistic that Germany will install new PV capacity in the double-digits this year, an important milestone in the country’s effort to become carbon neutral by 2045. The government aims to have 215 GW of solar installed in Germany by 2030, which is more than tripling the existing capacity within seven years.
Measures to Cut Red Tape
To achieve this, Habeck has announced a series of measures that would cut red tape, including accelerating the planning and approval process for PV on buildings and unbuilt land. While many of these changes concern minor bureaucratic issues that had a considerable deterrent effect on businesses and individuals wanting to use solar power, other measures are aimed at boosting production of PV panels in Germany and training workers to install them.
Germany’s Renewable Energy Goals
Solar power was responsible for more than 10% of Germany’s electricity production last year, compared with about 23% from wind. The country aims to generate 80% of its electricity from all forms of renewables by 2030. Habeck, a member of the environmentalist Green party, has faced allegations of nepotism in recent days over the way key positions in his ministerial portfolio were filled since he took office at the end of 2021. He admitted that mistakes were made with the appointment of the head of the German Energy Agency, a government think tank, but insisted that other positions had been filled in a transparent way. Safeguards were put in place to prevent conflicts of interest.