This article at Maschinenmarkt (in German) describes the trend for more and more German companies to build their own solar installations. Right now already 13% of member companies of the DIHK (Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce) own solar capacity to produce their own electricity, and a further 16% plan to deploy some solar panels.
That’s not news for readers of this blog. I already mentioned that fact in November. But this is well worth pointing out repeatedly.
The article then goes on to note the many advantages a company would get from such a move. They have their price locked in for the next decades. Most of them have enough demand to consume everything they generate, so they don’t need to bother with selling anything. And ironically, the rise in the feed-in tariff surcharges actually means this kind of deal becomes more interesting by exactly that margin.
The article also brings some other very encouraging news. They say that some companies are looking at getting their car fleets to electric vehicles and generate the electricity for that themselves with solar. And they assert that this already beats diesel on price. If so, that would help get rid of gasoline engines, which should have been made illegal years ago. Getting the carbon out of transport requires a transition to electric vehicles, and cars owned by companies are a logical starting point.
The feed-in tariffs will still run for another couple of years, until the ceiling is reached in 2015. But it looks more and more like the feed-in tariff actually won’t be needed any more to keep the ball rolling. It always was just a temporary measure. Once the rocket has reached escape velocity, there is no more need for it.