After many weeks of waiting and worrying, it is now official: On 7 July, the budget committee of the German parliament unblocked the EUR 115 million funds intended for the country's market incentive programme (MAP). The German Federal Environment Ministry (BMU), which is responsible for the MAP, confirmed in a press release a day later that, as of 12 July, applications are accepted again.
According to Célia Galeotti, Marketing & Events Manager at the European Solar Thermal Industry Federation (ESTIF), the “release of the frozen funds is an important victory for the political campaign initiated by European and national solar thermal industry groups”. The campaign was launched after the BMU published a press release at the beginning of May, in which it announced to stop the MAP, which is a very important driver behind the country´s market development. (see http://www.solarthermalworld.org/node/1194)
With the re-continuation of the programme, in progress, the BMU also announced new guidelines for it, which are in force as of today. The major changes concern the type of eligible technology: Installations in new buildings and simple solar hot water systems do no longer receive any funds from the programme. Still eligible for the MAP are solar cooling installations, combi systems, process heat and innovative solar thermal installations as installed in multi-family houses.
All applications between 4 May and 11 July are rejected. Individuals are entitled to again apply for funding under the more restrictive conditions, which have come into force on 12 July.