Penalty tax on roofs without solar panels under discussion

Economics Minister Habeck wants to expand renewable energies to 80 per cent of electricity demand by 2030. He envisages a quadrupling of the expansion with solar installations. However, the introduction of a nationwide solar roof obligation has failed so far. Now the managing director of the engineering firm Solar Experience, Stefan Abrecht, is proposing a penalty tax on roofs without solar installations to accelerate the expansion (Solarserver.com 20.06.22).


Energy expert wants levy on roofs without solar panels

Abrecht proposes a levy on all roofs without solar installations, if they were suitable. This would have several advantages over a state solar roof obligation. The corresponding levy would not only affect new buildings, but all usable roofs. According to Abrecht’s proposal, every homeowner on whose roof a solar system has not yet been installed would initially be liable to pay. The burden of proof as to whether a solar system on the roof makes sense or not would thus initially lie with the respective homeowner. Abrecht therefore considers a corresponding levy to be easy to administer. However, a corresponding review of whether this proposal is also legally feasible is not yet available.

Penalty tax on roofs without solar panels under discussion. Penalty tax for all those who do not participate in the ideological energy transition
Penalty tax on roofs without solar panels under discussion. Penalty tax for all those who do not participate in the ideological energy transition
Image: Aschroet, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

So far no nationwide solar roof obligation

In Germany, there is still no compulsory solar roof across the federal states. However, the coalition parties have agreed on this in the coalition agreement. It says: “All suitable roof surfaces are to be used for solar energy in the future. This is to become mandatory for new commercial buildings and the rule for new private buildings”.

Up to now, therefore, there has been no legal obligation to install a solar system either in new buildings or in old buildings throughout Germany. However, some federal states have enacted their own laws in this regard.  In Baden-Württemberg, a solar roof obligation has applied to all newly built non-residential buildings since 1 January 2022 and to new residential buildings from 1 May 2022. From 1 January 2023, Baden-Württemberg also intends to make the installation of a solar system mandatory by law when renovating an existing house. Berlin and Hamburg will adopt this regulation from 1 January 2023. Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein meanwhile prescribe solar systems for non-residential buildings or parking areas (NRW only).


Penalty tax for all those who do not go along with the ideological energy transition

With Abrecht’s proposal to reverse the solar roof obligation and make those who have not installed a solar system pay, now comes the second proposal to punish those who do not participate in the ideological energy transition. Only a few days ago, the Ministry of Economics considered imposing punitive taxes on combustion engines. It will be interesting to see what will be subject to a punitive tax next.

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