Photovoltaic promotion: all possibilities at a glance

Homeowners who want to install a photovoltaic system on their roof can use various subsidies. Thus, the federal government supports the domestic production of solar power via the feed-in tariff. But also cities, municipalities and energy suppliers set up support programs. An overview:

Guide / Electricity

Image: Father and son playing ball in front of house with solar roof Image: © altrendo images / Stockbyte / / Text: Verivox

Feed-in tariff according to the EEG

The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) gives operators of photovoltaic systems a fixed remuneration for the electricity fed into the public grid. How high this is depends, first, on the time of commissioning. In addition, the rates of remuneration depend on the size of the installation and the type of installation (roof system, ground-mounted systems, PV systems on sealed and conversion surfaces). In general, it can be said that the remuneration per kilowatt-hour is higher the earlier a plant went into operation and the smaller the plant was designed. The valid feed-in tariff is guaranteed for the year of commissioning and then for another twenty years. Interested parties can find out which rates of remuneration are paid under which conditions on the website of the Federal Network Agency.

Infeed or self-consumption?

The feed-in of solar power into the public grid ensures a safe return. However, self-consumption is becoming increasingly attractive due to falling remuneration and rising electricity prices. The highest possible self-consumption is achieved with electricity storage systems, the installation of which is promoted with a low-interest loan and an amortization subsidy. So if you only feed your electricity surplus into the grid, you can benefit twice.

Development loan from KfW-Bank

The Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) has launched the Renewable Energies – Standard 270 program specifically to promote photovoltaic systems. It enables the low-interest financing of solar systems. In addition to the purchase of a new photovoltaic system, it is also possible to build up and expand used plants. You can choose terms of five, ten or 20 years. The conditions of the promotional loan depend on the creditworthiness of the applicant. This determines the house bank, over which also the credit agreement is completed. Details about the KfW promotional bank program are available here.

Regional funding programs

Even federal states, cities and municipalities occasionally promote the installation of photovoltaic systems via investment subsidies or low-interest loans. The extent to which homeowners can avail themselves of regional support programs should be inquired in individual cases from the city or local government. A look at the funding database of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the BINE Information Service can also be worthwhile.

Grants from energy suppliers

In addition to the federal government, federal states and municipalities, energy supply companies also provide subsidies for the construction of PV systems. The type of promotion varies from provider to provider. While some municipal utilities pay a surcharge on the state-paid feed-in tariff, others grant a one-time subsidy, in part depending on the installed capacity of the PV system. As a rule, only customers of the company are eligible to apply. In addition, the support may be subject to other conditions, such as the promotion of new customers. Exact study of the conditions is therefore advisable.

Use tax advantages

Private homeowners become entrepreneurs when they put a photovoltaic system into operation and feed the electricity generated into the public grid. This means more paperwork, but it can also have advantages: For example, the costs for the purchase of the system, its maintenance and repair can be tax deducted as operating expenses. This also includes renovations to the roof, which are necessary due to the installation of the solar system, as well as ongoing costs, such as insurance premiums. In return, the PV system operator has to record the feed-in tariff and the own use as revenue and pay taxes on it.

Operators, whose annual revenue does not exceed the limit of 17,500 euros, have the choice: they can make use of the small business rules and thus get rid of the payment of VAT. The Federation of Energy Consumers has put together current tax tips for operators of photovoltaic systems.

EEG funding is to be turned around

The federal government plans to switch the EEG subsidy from 2017 – away from fixed compensation rates to more competition. Anyone wishing to receive a subsidy for their wind or solar park in the future must compete against other operators of green power plants. The contract or funding is awarded to the person who operates his plant most economically and requires the least funding. BUT: Small and medium photovoltaic installations with an installed capacity of up to one megawatt are to be exempted from this rule and further promoted according to fixed rates of remuneration.



Private TV stations earn their money with advertising. This not only makes them vulnerable to the ups and downs of the economy, but also forces them to reach as many viewers as possible. Although television is still one of the media that can do it reliably. But the managers at the headquarters of ProSiebenSat.1 or RTL Group know that times are changing. Because the Internet is changing media usage, especially among the important younger audiences. Traditional revenue models are in question and the broadcasters are looking for sources of revenue outside their traditional business.

Picture: Flatscreen

These include encrypted payment offers, which were considered to be of little success in view of the hitherto unimaginative history of pay-TV in Germany. In the meantime, RTL and ProSiebenSat.1 rely on this model, among other things with pay stations such as RTL Crime or Sat.1 Emotions; The high-definition HD programs of both large private TV companies are also available via satellite only for an annual fee to receive.

But even on the Internet not only digging giant giants for money, the TV stations are on the road – and thus attack Google and Co. The Munich set among other online portals, especially on the video platform MyVideo, which will attract new audiences. After initial attempts, the group wants to show series like “American Horror Story” first on MyVideo and only then in the TV program, said Digital Director Markan Karajica recently the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”. A first test with the series “Spartacus” has already proven to be successful – without breaking the ratings in classical television. This is how advertising revenues flow twice, and it seems that the broadcasters can do one without leaving the other one.

“Obviously, we are addressing different user groups,” the manager said. Providers such as Google’s video platform YouTube should watch this closely. Just how they will remember the sharp criticism of ProSiebenSat.1 CEO Thomas Ebeling. He sees the search engine giant as a major threat to the entire media industry. Among other things, Google benefits from “mass copyright infringement on its video platform YouTube and does too little to combat it,” Ebeling said recently. Google rejected the allegations.

But in other places, the stations are looking in the network for new revenue sources. In the meantime, money is being made there with virtual horses or farms: Internet games are a building block on which ProSiebenSat.1 is very hopeful. The market is growing, in networks like Facebook ackern user as a farmer, breed cows or order fields. This costs nothing at first, but who wants more animals or better plants, must pay. Also on the sides of the transmitter are now such games and a wide range in virtual shopping shelves – against money can buy digital items, from the tractor to the mount.

With the “” gaming platform alone, the ProSiebenSat.1 Group reaches around nine million registered users. In January, the broadcaster secured Europe-wide exclusive licenses for eight online games from American game developer Sony Online Entertainment, including classics such as “Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures” or “EverQuest II.” The revenue that the channel group makes with online games is currently in the double-digit million range. Over the next three years, revenues are expected to grow above the 100 million mark.

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