Despite the launch of the World's largest solar park on a former open-pit mine, it's been a little hard to track the health of Germany's solar sector of late. Given its status as a world leader in solar capacity due to generous feed-in tariff subsidies, there was justifiable concern as planned cuts to the tariff coincided with increased competition from Chinese suppliers and a slump in demand. But Renewable Energy World reports that the Government will not be enforcing one of its two scheduled cuts in subsidies:
Under the subsidy plan adopted last year, the government was expected to cut solar subsidies twice a year, once at a variable rate established annually, and then by an amount to be determined by the size of new installations. The base rate cut for 2012 is set at nine percent. For the second subsidy cut, which would have been effective in March 2012, incentives were expected to be slashed by another six percent.
Germany has now cancelled the scheduled six percent cut and so for 2012 a cut of nine percent - rather than 15 percent - is planned. Subsidies were cut by 16 percent for 2011.
While predictions vary, many analysts now predict strong growth for the last quarter of 2011 with some estimates even suggesting that installed capacity will beat the 7 GW of solar installed in 2010.