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Obligation to install photovoltaics in Germany's several federal states: a brief overview and reflections on implications

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published on 20th August 2021

 

In recent months, several federal states have decided in various legislative resolutions to introduce an obligation to install solar systems. According to these regulations, the installation of a photovoltaic system will be mandatory in the future for newly constructed and for renovated buildings and car parks. As the first federal states ever, Hamburg and Baden-Württemberg included such a solar obligation in their climate protection laws already in 2020. The city of Berlin has followed this example and enacted a corresponding solar law in 2021.

 

In order to accelerate the expansion of photovoltaic systems in Schleswig-Holstein as well, the Cabinet has decided to amend the Energy and Climate Protection Act. A legislative resolution is expected to follow yet this year. The federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Bremen also want to introduce a legal obligation to install PV systems in the near future. The state parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate has already been presented a respective bill by the governing parties SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, and FDP. In Bremen, an urgent motion was passed by the Bremen city parliament to introduce a solar obligation to make the city a „solar city”.

The following table provides an overview of the state regulations and information on their entry into force and scope:

 

 

  Hamburg1 Baden-Württemberg2 Berlin3
StatusAct entered into force
20/02/2020

 

Amendment of the Climate Protection Act:
adopted
14/10/2020;
entered into force
24/10/2020;
Bill on another Amendment of the Climate Protection Act
13/07/2021
Act passed
17/06/2021;
entered into force
16/07/2021
 Valid from01/01/2023 for newly constructed buildings
01/01/2025 for renovation of existing buildings
01/01/2022 for newly constructed non-residential buildings and car parks
01/05/2022; for newly constructed residential buildings
01/01/2023; for comprehensive roof renovation
01.01.2023
 Roof Area

§ 16 HmbKliSchG

Obligation to provide a system for the generation of electricity using solar radiation energy for new and existing buildings

 

§ 8a Climate Protection Act Baden-Württemberg

Obligation to install photovoltaic systems on roof surfaces
- for newly constructed non-residential buildings
- for newly constructed residential buildings

Solar Act Berlin

Mandatory minimum size for photovoltaic systems on new buildings and for existing buildings in the case of significant roof conversions

Minimum size / Minimum use

Roof area

  • 50 m² or more
  • Minimum use not
    defined
Not defined
  • 50 m² or more
  • Minimum use 30 % of gross roof area
Car park- § 8b Climate Protection Act Baden-Württemberg Obligation to install photovoltaic systems on car park areas when building a new open car park suitable for solar use-

Minimum size / Minimum use

Car park

-
  • 35 parking spaces or more
  • Minimum use not defined
-

 

 

 

Schleswig-

Holstein4

Rheinland-Pfalz5 Bremen6
StatusCabinet resolution on amending the Energy Transition and Climate Protection Act 01/06/2021Bill
08/07/2021
Passed by the Bremen city parliament
10/06/2020
Valid from01.01.202301.01.2023Not defined
Roof area

§ 11 Energy Transition and Climate Protection Act
Specifications for the installation of photovoltaic systems in newly constructed buildings and in renovations of non-residential buildings

 § 4 Federal State Solar Act - LSolarG
Obligation to install photovoltaic systems on roof surfaces when constructing new buildings for commercial use
 

Resolution recommendation
Mandatory installation of photovoltaic systems in new and existing buildings
 

 

Minimum size / Minimum use

Roof area

Not defined
  • 100 m² or more
  • Minimum size of the photovoltaic system is 60 % of the area suitable for solar installation
Not defined
Car park§ 10 Energy Transition and Climate Protection Act
Specifications for installation of photovoltaic systems on larger newly constructed car parks
§ 5 Federal State Solar Act - LSolarG
Obligation to install photovoltaic systems when constructing new open car parks

 

-

 

Minimum size / Minimum use

Car park

  • 100 parking spaces or more
  • Minimum use not defined
  • 50 parking spaces or more
  • Minimum area of the photovoltaic system: 60 % of the parking spot's area suitable for solar use

 

-

  
As part of the 2022 Immediate Action Programme for Climate Protection, the Federal Government has also promised to introduce a solar obligation at the federal level. The Federal Government wants to include an obligation to install photovoltaic or solar thermal systems for new buildings and larger roof renovations in an amendment to the Building Energy Act (GEG). A revision of GEG, planned for 2023 anyway, should be expedited to be introduced in 2022 through the Immediate Action Programme for Climate Protection.7 The Bavarian Prime Minister initially also pointed out that he preferred to wait for the Federal Government's regulations on this issue and thus did not intend to pursue a state regulation for Bavaria.8

In terms of climate policy, the targets are fully desirable; they will promote a higher share of PV electricity in total energy generation. Even if, in individual cases, decentralised generation, especially through rooftop photovoltaic installations, leads to reduced volumes of electricity in distribution, the very interesting question arises: who will design municipal car parks? Of course, there are enough companies offering respective solutions out there; however, it will be exciting for local municipal utilities if they take over the project planning (as energy supplier) for the municipality and thus secure themselves access to the parking spaces and expansion through PV. This is because the pure operation of the systems involves also other services. For example, it is reasonable to build charging stations in the future and to consider the use of video cameras, LED lighting, and other services, such as car park management. Such considerations also include pack stations, etc.

But back to the operation: whoever has the system in their hand also decides on the various options of selling electricity produced by that system. For example, PV electricity can also be used directly on sites in close proximity to the building with the installed PV system and possibly also be used as part of "urban PPAs" – as electricity for the municipality from the municipal car park. There are many possible ideas – of course, always considerably depending on the specific location (central, commuter car park, leisure facilities, etc.) – that the municipal utilities can implement well as local partners.

The above-mentioned federal states are thus ahead of a trend that will also become a reality for the Federal Government in the medium term. Municipal utilities throughout Germany would do well to look into the opportunities of PV projects for newly constructed buildings, car parks or land areas permitted under the EEG as soon as possible in order to get projects off the ground. 



_______________________________________________________
Sources:
1 Verordnung zur Umsetzung der Pflichten zur Nutzung von Photovoltaik und erneuerbarer Energien bei der Wärmeversorgung nach dem Hamburgischen Klimaschutzgesetz und zur Änderung der Verordnung über Schornsteinfegerarbeiten, 

Microsoft Word - S01-BUKEA-Anlage_HmbKliSchUmsVO (003).DOCX (hamburg.de);

Hamburgisches Gesetz zum Schutz des Klimas,
2 Gesetz zur Weiterentwicklung des Klimaschutzes in Baden-Württemberg
Gesetzentwurf der Fraktionen von Bündnis 90/Die Grünen und CDU
3 Gesetz- und Verordnungsblatt für Berlin
4 Entwurf eines Gesetzes zur Änderung des Energiewende- und Klimaschutzgesetzes Schleswig-Holstein
5 Gesetzentwurf der Fraktionen von SPD, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen und FDP
Dringlichkeitsantrag der Fraktionen Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, DIE LINKE und SPD
Bayern Innovativ, Sofortprogramm Solarpflicht ab 2022 
8 https://www.pv-magazine.de/2021/07/21/soeder-will-bundesweite-solarpflicht-eine-verpflichtende-photovoltaik-vorschrift-in-bayern-kommt-dagegen-erstmal-nicht/


 

 

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