September 27 (Renewables Now) - The funds available under a EUR-300-million (USD 316.4m) grant programme for German homeowners looking to charge their electric vehicles (EVs) with solar power have already been exhausted just a day after the opportunity was launched.
According to information on the website of state-owned promotional bank KfW, in charge of disbursing the money, interest in the subsidy programme has proven to be so high that no funding has been left already. Consequently, the bank is asking potential applicants to not submit any more applications.
A spokesperson for KfW has told Reuters that the bank has received about 33,000 applications within 24 hours of the programme’s launch.
Funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV), the scheme provides interested applicants with the chance to receive a grant of up to EUR 10,200 to purchase and connect charging stations, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and energy storage systems for their homes. The prerequisite is that they own an electric car.
The managing director of German solar power association BSW, Carsten Koernig, commented a day before the launch that the funding opportunity is attractive but has a few shortcomings. More specifically, the association recommends that the proof of EV ownership is provided after the project end and not when the application is submitted. Furthermore, it points out the fact that requiring home storage systems to be charged solely with green electricity limits the possibility of using storage for grid purposes.
Wolfgang Gruendinger, chief evangelist for German solar energy company Enpal GmbH, took to social media to express his dissatisfaction with the entire funding opportunity, referring to it as “nothing but a flash in the pan” and adding that it only brought chaos to the industry, with customers cancelling or withholding orders while waiting for the funds.
As planned, the transport ministry will provide a further EUR 200 million for the programme next year.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.055)