Solar companies call for competitive measures to preserve the solar industry


Joint press release

  • The companies expressly support the strengthening of the domestic solar industry.
  • Support measures should start on the producer side.
  • Resilience bonuses for end customers create false incentives and leave out political control options.
  • Competitive resilience tenders allow political volume and cost controls while at the same time fuelling competition.

Berlin, 18 January 2024 - The companies Enpal, 1KOMMA5°, Energiekonzepte Deutschland (EKD) and Zolar declare that the German government's solar package should not be based on the principle of watering cans. They warn of the danger that the small system segment, which is already under pressure, will be unnecessarily jeopardized further by so-called resilience bonuses. Instead, the companies are in favor of competitive instruments, such as resilience tenders, to sustainably strengthen the competitiveness of the German solar industry. The four companies, with a total of 8,000 employees, generated an aggregate turnover of over 2 billion euros in 2023.  

Due to the competitive advantages of Asian manufacturers, policymakers are also discussing the use of resilience instruments to strengthen the domestic solar industry as part of the solar package. As Germany and the EU need to become more competitive in the solar energy sector, resilience instruments on the producer side are to be welcomed. However, the debate is too one-sided. The requirements of the downstream segment are not being considered.  

A resilience bonus for end customers in the form of a crude increase in the feed-in tariff would have serious consequences. On the one hand, the costs of such a subsidy could not be limited, as the extent to which the bonus would be applied cannot be estimated. Announcements of subsidies at end customer level also harbor the great risk that customers will hold back their investment and wait for the requirements to be specified and the subsidy to take effect. Therefore, the existing and sustainable demand would initially collapse completely - as it has in the past. At the same time, the extremely limited supply of domestic photovoltaic modules could be met with demand that cannot be satisfied in too short a time, thus triggering a high level of consumer frustration in the market.  

Upstream value creation steps such as wafer, ingot and cell production must first be established in a competitive and scalable manner in Europe. Otherwise, the resilience bonus for end customers threatens to massively overload European photovoltaic production and damage it, as well as the profitable, competitive and high-investment solar industry, which accounts for 92 per cent of jobs in the solar sector. Competitive and sustainable production of solar modules is impossible without a functioning upstream value chain in Europe. This is why subsidies should start here first, to enable cell production with appropriate materials such as polysilicon or wafers on a broad scale.

The business alliance of this declaration, consisting of the companies Enpal, 1KOMMA5°, EKD and Zolar, recommends introducing resilience tenders instead of introducing a resilience bonus. Resilience tenders offer a simple lever to promote larger roof systems in a targeted manner. This strengthens competition and at the same time takes account of rising costs. The German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) already allows rooftop tenders and self-consumption to be combined. This tried and tested system could easily be extended to a resilience segment. The decisive factor for success is that the administration is kept lean and fully digitalized. 

With a specific tendering limit, the maximum costs are clear from the outset. In addition, supply and demand could be better harmonized through political control. Tenders have also been tried and tested under EU state aid law.

In principle, it remains to be said that state subsidies should be targeted directly at production and not at the end customer.

About Enpal  

Enpal, the Greentech unicorn in Germany, offers an integrated total solution for renewable energy, pioneering the energy transition. Profitable since 2022, the company holds a leading market position for residential solar systems in Germany, selling several thousand new energy systems every month. The solar system is part of the integrated energy ecosystem consisting of an energy storage system, charging station, heat pump and the Enpal energy manager, which is an intelligent combination of hardware and software. Founded in 2017, Enpal is digitizing and revolutionizing the purchase of green energy for a fossil-free home with its rental model and flexible, no-down-payment purchase option. More than 60,000 Enpal-equipped households already make up our climate-friendly renewable energy community. Enpal's investors include some of the world's largest impact and technology investors such as TPG Rise Climate, Softbank Vision Fund II, Princeville Climate Technologies, HV Capital, Activate Capital and The Westly Group.

‍About 1KOMMA5°

1KOMMA5° operates the "Heartbeat" energy software platform, creating a virtual power plant that connects customers' photovoltaics, electricity storage systems, heat pumps and charging stations with the energy market and significantly increases the profitability of customer systems. The company also offers private and commercial customers a one-stop store for the purchase and installation of individual and intelligent energy system solutions. In order to accelerate international growth, the CleanTech start-up acquires leading companies in the electrical industry with a focus on photovoltaics, charging infrastructure and heat pumps and in return offers the companies the use of its own software solutions, centralized services, bundled purchasing, growth capital and a return investment in 1KOMMA5°. The aim is to develop a Europe-wide market-leading hardware and software platform that can convert 500,000 buildings per year to climate-neutral power generation, heat and mobility. 1KOMMA5° currently operates 72 locations with around 1,900 employees in Germany, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands and Australia.

About Energiekonzepte Deutschland (EKD)

Founded in 2018 with just two employees, EKD is now one of the market leaders in the German solar market. Where solar systems were sold in the beginning, today intelligent and smart networked year-round energy systems with a future are installed in and on customers' homes. From the solar system on the roof to the electricity storage unit in the cellar. Modularly expandable for every need: whether hot water, heat pump or wallbox - perfectly and individually tailored to the respective requirements. Smart and future-proof. For more self-sufficiency, more energy and more security. To date, EKD has installed more than 25,000 systems on Germany's roofs. More than 450 permanent employees at four locations, over 2,400 freelance field staff throughout Germany and a nationwide network of over 100 trade and installation partners ensure customer satisfaction every day. Further information is available at:

About Zolar

ZOLAR GmbH was founded in Berlin in 2016. The climate tech start-up provides homeowners and regional tradespeople with access to customized solar solutions via a simple online platform. According to Zolar's mission, people should be able to benefit from affordable, self-generated green energy and make an important contribution to climate protection at the same time. Zolar aims to supply more than ten million households in Europe with renewable energy by 2030.

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Boris Radke

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