German Government Agrees on “Solar Package 1”

After tough negotiations, the German government reached an agreement on April 15, 2024 to pass the “Solar Package 1”. The legislative package, long awaited by the industry, is expected to be passed by the Bundestag next week. It contains several new provisions that are intended to promote the expansion of solar technology in Germany in order to achieve the target of 215 GW of solar capacity by 2030.

Photovoltaics (PV) on commercial buildings, open spaces and apartment buildings

The expansion of PV systems on commercial properties has so far fallen short of expectations due to increased construction and capital costs. The solar package therefore provides for an increase in the feed-in tariff by 1.5 cents/kWh for commercial PV roof systems with an output of between 40 and 750 kW. In addition, the tender volume in this segment is to be doubled.

PV systems on open spaces are also to receive increased support. The upper bid limit for tenders for ground-mounted systems will rise from 20 to 50 MW to enable the construction of more efficient solar systems.

The solar package also contains new rules for the shared use of PV roof systems on apartment buildings. With the introduction of a “shared building supply” („gemeinschaftliche Gebäudeversorgung“), regulatory hurdles for the construction of PV systems on apartment buildings are to be removed so that the individual parties can benefit from the electricity they produce themselves.

New rules for small PV systems, balcony power plants and battery storage systems

Until now, a simplified grid connection procedure has been provided for systems with an output of up to 10.8 kW. This limit will be increased to 30 kW in the future. According to the simplified procedure, if there is no response from the grid operator to the grid connection request within one month, the systems can be connected to the grid without further ado.

The expansion of so-called balcony power plants, i.e. small solar systems on private balconies, is also to be boosted. In future, the system will only have to be registered in the Federal Network Agency’s market master data register („Marktstammdatenregister“) under simplified conditions. However, it will no longer be necessary to register with the grid operator, which was previously mandatory.

There is also an innovation for battery storage systems. In future, multi-use, i.e. the charging of grey grid electricity and green solar power, will be possible without losing the entitlement to EEG feed-in tariffs for solar power.

Only limited obligation to tolerate cable construction

In contrast to the previous draft, there is no longer a general obligation for landowners to tolerate the construction of cables for the connection of renewable energy systems on their land. Instead, the duty to tolerate is limited to publicly owned land. Concerns about the previous regulation were raised by farmers’ associations in particular.

No resilience bonus

However, there will be no resilience bonus for the domestic solar industry. The subsidy for German manufacturers demanded against the backdrop of cheap solar modules from China was controversial within the Ampel coalition until the very end. In the end, however, fears of rising costs for electricity customers prevailed. Instead, the industry is to be supported by accelerating the implementation of the European Net-Zero Industry Act.


Last year, the increase in solar capacity rose to 14.1 GW, almost doubling compared to the same period in the previous year. However, the rate of expansion will have to increase to 19 GW per year in order to reach the target of 215 GW by 2030. The solar package, which is likely to be adopted soon and provides for numerous other measures in addition to the changes presented, will make an important contribution to this.

(18 April 2024)