Plans by German Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) to impose a new so-called climate levy (“Klimabeitrag”) for specific German power plants to squeeze them out of the market continue to spark controversy among and within the ruling political parties, the federal states and German utilities. The – most doubtful – legality of the levy is not being discussed much.
The first German renewable tender determining financial support for 150 MW of freestanding PV capacity, which ended on 15 April 2015, was several times oversubscribed, the German grid regulator (BNetzA) said. BNetzA received 170 bids in the first of three tenders with a total capacity of 500 MW that will be held this year pursuant to the revised Renewable Energy Sources Act that came into force on 1 August 2014 (EEG 2014)
The government has submitted a third bill amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act that entered into force on 1 August 2014 (EEG 2014). The bill extends the possibility to claim a reduction of the Renewable Energy Surcharge to more energy-intensive industries and corrects an uncertainty that has arisen under the EEG 2014 with regard to financial support for renewable power plants that use a shared meter.
The Amsterdam-based and Paris-based power exchanges APX Group and EPEX Spot announced to integrate their businesses in order to form a power exchange for Central Western Europe (CWE) and the UK. Both companies have signed respective agreements.
The government of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) adopted the draft of the first Climate Protection Plan (Klimaschutzplan) for NRW. The plan sets out strategies and measures to reach the goals of the Climate Protection Act which the state parliament passed in 2013.
The European Commission has found German plans to support the construction of 20 offshore wind farms under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission concluded that the project would further EU energy and environmental objectives without unduly distorting competition in the Single Market.
Based on data from the EEX transparency platform, German PV production reached more than 25 GW on 15 April 2015, setting a new record.
The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has started a consultation on the draft of the Gas Grid Development Plan 2015 (Netzentwicklungsplan Gas 2015 – NEP Gas 2015).
BDEW has published its 2015 list of German new build power plants. 53% of the power plants projects with a net capacity of 20 MW or more and high availability (conventional and offshore power plants) are uncertain, the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) said, when presenting its annual update for the so-called BDEW Kraftwerksliste. If the energy turnaround and the transition to renewable energies as the main pillar of the energy supply was to succeed, reliable back-up by new efficient and climate-friendly (highly available) power plants was needed, Hildegard Müller, chairwoman of the energy trade association BDEW, stressed.
Electricity prices for households fell slightly for the first time since 2000, first results of a survey show, the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) reports. According to BDEW, a 3-member household with an electricity consumption of 3,500 kWh has to pay EUR 84 per month (28.81 ct/kWh) compared with EUR 85 (29.14 ct/kWh) in 2014 for electricity. This includes 52% in state induced price elements.