S.A.G. Solarstrom AG: Cutbacks jeopardize the energy turnaround
Freiburg, February 23, 2012. S.A.G. Solarstrom AG (German security identification number: 702 100, ISIN: DE0007021008) is sharply attacking the plans put forward by the Federal German government to drastically reduce the feed-in tariff from March 9. S.A.G. Solarstrom AG’s employees are protesting today in Freiburg against the plans. In 2011, the solar industry demonstrated a high level of innovative capability and cost degression. Grid parity at household electricity prices was achieved in 2012, and it is anticipated that grid parity at the industrial electricity price of around 15 Eurocents will be reached in 2014. However, with the planned cutbacks, the Federal German government is completely choking the German market, which is viewed as a highly regarded global role model for renewable power generation. It is thus jeopardizing the agreed upon energy turnaround and jobs in Germany. It is not comprehensible how the advantages of a localized, grid-stabilizing technology can be so rashly ignored and instead, central models from major energy providers are favorized.
“It is completely incomprehensible to us how the Federal government can argue these drastic reductions“, says Dr. Karl Kuhlmann, CEO of S.A.G. Solarstrom AG. “The share of costs of photovoltaics in the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) levy of consumers continues to decline, but is used again and again by the energy corporations as a welcome justification for some quite significant increases in electricity prices. This is complete nonsense. The Renewable Energy Act levy has increased from 3.53 Eurocents in 2011 to 3.59 Eurocents in 2012, yet the suppliers in Germany increased the electricity prices by 3.4% on average at the start of 2012, many even higher. The high portion of renewable energy even had a considerable cost-cutting impact on the electricity exchanges. Photovoltaics is being made a scapegoat by the energy corporations in order to expand their own profit margin without any risks.“
S.A.G. Solarstrom AG is anticipating a significant decline in the market in Germany as a result of the planned cutbacks. The extent of this decline depends largely on the further development in prices of the components. “The German market will lose its global significance with this decision“, says Kuhlmann. “It is a sad state of affairs for Germany as a business location that the Federal government wants to turn the statutory framework conditions for our industry completely upside down within one year. In this area too, we are experiencing that politics does not set any reliable framework conditions“.
The protests are absolutely nothing to do with continuing to subsidize photovoltaics on a permanent basis, Kuhlmann emphasizes. “The industry is already in the middle of a transitional phase towards a competitive market. It is correct to arrange subsidies on a declining basis. However, this must be carried out in a controlled manner for the companies. These short-term drastic reductions are slowing down the very positive development of photovoltaics that we have had up to now. Localized photovoltaics, however, are an important component in the renewable power supply of the energy turnaround“.
S.A.G. Solarstrom AG already generates around 60% of its sales abroad and drove international expansion over the last few years. “Thanks to our 4-pillar business model, we are in a comparatively position. However, it is also clear that under these conditions, our growth must be intensified abroad. In Germany, ground-mounted systems, even those on converted areas, will become more unattractive for a transitional period. The focus will tend to be more on roof-top solutions for own consumption. However, that might change again in the next few years, in line with direct marketing of green electricity, beyond feed-in tariffs. We will adjust to these changes in the market“, concludes Kuhlmann.
About S.A.G. Solarstrom AG
S.A.G. Solarstrom AG (German security identification number: 702 100, ISIN: DE0007021008) of Freiburg i.Br., Germany, is a manufacturer-independent provider of high-quality photovoltaic plants configured to customers’ individual needs. The Group constructs efficient plants of all sizes both in Germany and abroad. S.A.G. Solarstrom AG also produces solar energy at its own plants.
S.A.G. Solarstrom AG’s service portfolio covers the entire life cycle of photovoltaic plants, including forecast and energy services, yield reports, and remote service and maintenance, as well as insurance and financing. The Group thus offers a comprehensive value chain in photovoltaics, from yield reports, planning, construction, operations, and monitoring to optimization, repowering, and deconstruction.
Founded in 1998, S.A.G. Solarstrom AG is considered a pioneer in the solar industry. Around 240 specialists work at the four locations in Germany and the foreign subsidiaries.
S.A.G. Solarstrom AG is listed in the Prime Standard of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange as well as according to the rules and standards M:access of the Munich Stock Exchange.
Further information: www.solarstromag.com
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