Municipality cuts back on financial support for photovoltaic installations
An announcement published in the latest edition of the Baar Official Gazette was short and clear. "In general no further funds will be made available for the installation of photovoltaic systems or similar."
But does this not go against the current philosophy of supporting the installation of solar panels and similar equipment to ensure the use of energy is kept at a sustainable level; a policy encouraged not only at municipal level but by the cantonal authorities and the Swiss central government, too?
Whether this is the case of not, the municipality of Baar supported such installations in 2009 to the tune of CHF 100,000. Today the sum is more than CHF 200,000. "This figure is what we have promised to pay out so far this year but there are further applications amounting to another CHF 200,000," explained councillor Paul Langenegger. "I am afraid these people will have to wait for their money as we have decided to stop any further contributions until the appropriate conditions have been reviewed."
It appears a specialist energy committee is advising the municipality not to support suppliers of photovoltaic equipment who already benefit from subsidies from the Swiss central government. "In a way the current system allows some companies to benefit from a double subsidy," said Langenegger, who added that the committee would be presenting the municipality with a report in September, depending on which the council would then decide whether to contribute more to support the installation of photovoltaic equipment.
Not that Baar is alone with this problem in the canton. Hünenberg announced it was having to reduce the amount it contributed as the demand for photovoltaic equipment had grown so much. "Unfortunately we do not have a bottomless pot of money," said Erich Wenger of the local council.
he council in Steinhausen is also considering taking similar steps. "The business in photovoltaic equipment is simply booming," said Gregor Notter of the energy committee. "We set aside an annual CHF 120,000 contribution, but this is expected to rise to CHF 400,000 in 2014."