„I cannot reword“
Solarstrom vom heimischen Dach, gespeichert in einer eigenen Batterie, und damit das Elektroauto laden: So versuchen mehr und mehr Menschen, unabhängig von teurem Strom und Sprit zu werden. Die Bundesregierung will die Anschaffung von Fotovoltaikanlagen, Speichern und Ladestationen mit einer neuen Kombi-Förderung unterstützen, die am 26. September anlaufen soll.
However, several well-known energy companies are now criticizing the program of the Federal Ministry of Transport. While they generally welcome the state’s intention to exclusively support the key technologies of the energy transition, a letter to Minister Volker Wissing, obtained by SPIEGEL, states that the funding guidelines are hindering the goals of the program. The letter is signed by the storage manufacturer Sonnen from Allgäu, the electricity providers Lichtblick and Octopus Energy, as well as the solar providers Enpal and 1komma5°.
The companies specifically criticize that applicants must already own an electric car or at least have ordered one in order to benefit from the subsidy. „Here, a chicken-and-egg problem arises, which can lead to significant hesitation or disappointed expectations when making a purchase,“ warn the signatories. Those who are only now starting to buy an electric car cannot be sure if the funding program has already been exhausted by the time they are allowed to submit their application. „In the worst case scenario, consumers purchase an electric vehicle with confidence in the subsidy, which they then can no longer take advantage of.“
Are you soon going to store unused items in the basement?
In addition, the companies criticize that subsidized home storage systems are not allowed to be charged from the general power grid according to the directive. This leaves a „tremendous technical potential“ for climate protection and cost relief for households, especially in winter, according to the letter. While solar panels generate little yield in winter, intelligently interconnected storage systems can absorb relatively inexpensive electricity during windy hours and ideally relieve the grid.
Manufacturers like Sonnen and providers like 1komma5° are working on solutions that aim to make electricity cheaper for connected households. The companies criticize the clause in the funding guidelines, stating that „in the next energy crisis, the subsidized storage systems would have to remain idle in the basement instead of relieving the power grid,“ as mentioned in the letter to Wissing. The signatories now hope for a „prompt improvement“ of the guidelines.
The Ministry of Transport announced the start of the new funding program last week. According to this, homeowners with their own electric car can apply for a subsidy of up to 10,200 euros from the state-owned KfW if they purchase a new charging station in combination with a new solar system and a new battery storage. „With our new funding program, we are focusing on self-generated electricity for electric cars,“ emphasized Minister Wissing. According to the guidelines, the electricity used must come from 100 percent renewable sources. The federal government is providing up to 500 million euros for the program.
According to the National Control Center for Charging Infrastructure, when electric car owners charge their vehicles with self-generated solar power, it often happens during times of the day when the power grids are less burdened. This argument is based on the results of a survey conducted among users.