Energy: Obligation and less bureaucracy should bring solar boost

Energy: Obligation and less bureaucracy should bring solar boost

Duty and less bureaucracy should bring solar boost

Rhineland-Palatinate has recently missed the goals it had set itself for the expansion of renewable energies. Now the traffic light fractions want to use the lever in several places to accelerate the expansion of solar energy in particular.

With a mixture of new specifications and faster approval procedures, the traffic light factions want to accelerate the expansion of solar energy in Rhineland-Palatinate. In concrete terms, more photovoltaics are to be installed on roofs and open spaces, and procedures for approving new systems are to be centralized and accelerated. In addition, the state and municipalities should be obliged to install solar systems for new buildings and extensive roof renovations, as the parliamentary group leaders Sabine Bätzing-Lichtenthäler from the SPD, Pia Schellhammer from the Greens and Philipp Fernis from the FDP explained on Tuesday in Mainz.

Unlike the CDU faction, the traffic light factions are against a solar obligation for new private houses. They see this as too much of a burden for house builders and advocate the obligation to install devices for new buildings and extensive roof renovations in order to simplify retrofitting a photovoltaic system at a later date and make it cheaper.

The factions of the SPD, Greens and FDP spoke out in favor of changing the PV open space ordinance for more photovoltaic systems on farmland, meadows and other open spaces that have comparatively little biodiversity or produce less agricultural yields. So far, the ordinance caps the annual tender volume at 200 megawatts, which was recently fully exhausted. The traffic light representatives want to double the volume to 400 megawatts in the future.

According to Schellhammer, a cap is also important in the future, because different types of land use must always be weighed up. Conservation issues and food production are also important. It is assumed that a doubled tender volume will also be exhausted, said the Greens politician. Photovoltaics on open spaces should also be considered an ecological compensation measure in the future.

By the summer, the three factions also want to bring an amended solar law into the state parliament, although the current one is only from 2021. Nevertheless, it comes – “as grotesque as it may sound” – from a different time, stressed Bätzing-Lichtenthäler. Since then, the Ahr flood has shown how important climate protection is. Fernis added that the war in Ukraine has also shown how important it is to become independent of other countries in terms of energy production.

Among other things, an amended solar law is intended to make solar compulsory for new buildings or major roof renovations by state and local authorities and for other property developers, i.e. above all private households, the obligation to install devices for PV systems – i.e. cables or empty pipes. The municipalities should finance the construction of PV systems themselves, money from the state should not flow, as the traffic light representatives explained. It would be odd for the country to bear the cost and the savings later benefited others, Fernis said.

The SPD parliamentary group leader said that it was difficult for house builders to get craftsmen and components. Therefore, there should be no solar obligation for them. “Solar duty for every roof sounds great, but that doesn’t work,” she said, referring to the CDU parliamentary group. Fernis from the FDP parliamentary group pointed out that the construction costs were still high, interest rates were going up, but at the same time living space was needed. Against this background, it makes little sense to keep driving up the costs for house builders.

The traffic light representatives hope for a “considerable acceleration” in the approval process, as Fernis said – on the one hand through the intended bundling of the processes in Rhineland-Palatinate in the Structure and Approval Directorates (SGD), on the other hand through the traffic lights in the federal government de-bureaucratization that has been initiated.

The CDU MP Gerd Schreiner said the plans were basically welcome. “The solar system on the roof should be the norm, the roof without solar system the exception.” The state government must be measured by what the traffic light groups have presented. “We hope that the proposals from the SPD, FDP and Greens will not disappear into ministry drawers.”


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