The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has submitted a draft ordinance amending the Equalisation Scheme Ordinance (AusglMechV) and the Execution Ordinance (AusglMechAV) for review and comment by the stakeholders. The amendment intends to bring AusglMechV and AusglMechAV in line with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2014) that entered into force on 1 August 2014. An important aspect is that the renewable energy surcharge on electricity (EEG surcharge), which under the EEG 2014 has to be paid also for self-generated and consumed green power (certain grandfathering rules and exemptions apply), shall not be levied by the transmission system operators (TSOs), but by the operators of the grid the renewable power plant is connected to.
A ministerial draft amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2014) that entered into force on 1 August 2014 has been sent out to the federal states (Länder) and trade sector associations for review (so-called Länder- und Verbändeanhörung) by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The amendment shall in particular ensure that new railroad operators can benefit from the so-called special equalisation scheme laid down in Section 65 EEG.
The Scientific Advisory Committee to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has published an expert opinion on “Congestion-related Payments by Users and Infrastructure Investments in Grids”, covering the transport, electricity and telecommunication sectors. For the electricity market the report recommends grid charges that reflect grid utilisation.
Yesterday the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) approved 51 gas grid expansion projects proposed by the gas transmission system operators (TSOs) in the Gas Grid Development Plan 2014 (Netzentwicklungsplans Gas 2014 – NEP Gas 2014) and asked the TSOs to remove 5 projects from the plan. Investments are worth EUR 2.8 billion. With this decision NEP Gas 2014 has become binding.
Last Friday the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) presented their forecast for the 2016 EEG surcharge range. The current trend points towards 6.5 ct/kWh, with a likely range between 5.66 and 7.27 ct/kWh. The lower and the top end of this rather wide range are 0.51 ct/kWh less respectively 1.1 ct/kWh higher than the EEG surcharge of 6.17 ct/kWh for 2015. The TSOs also published the 5-year medium term forecast on renewable power (Mittelfristprognose), providing information on expected installed capacity, renewable power input into the grids, payments made to operators in accordance with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and sales to final consumers (Letztverbraucherabsatz).
I am happy to report that Who’s Who Legal has again identified my partner Manfred Ungemach and myself in their Germany 2015 review as being amongst Germany’s leading lawyers.
According to initial information on a (not yet formally published) draft of the “Action Programme on Climate Protection 2020″ prepared by the Environment Ministry (BMUB), the exact CO2 reduction contribution expected from electricity generation is still open. Several media reports papers discuss whether Germany will be able to reach its goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 40% compared with 1990 by 2020 with the Climate Action Programme in its current form, taking into account also an (as yet also not formally published) draft of a National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency prepared by the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. The Cabinet is due to decide about both plans on 3 December.
German Council of Economic Experts (GCEE) has presented its Annual Economic Report 2014/15. GCEE expects GDP to increase by 1.2% in 2014 and 1.0% in 2015. In the section on energy policy entitled “Low Expectations Confirmed” GCEE critises the German support for renewables and calls for an international strategy for climate protection and more efficiency in managing the energy transition (Energiewende).
Tax incentives for energy-efficient renovations of buildings should be part of the EUR 10 billion investment programme the government announced last week, the Alliance for Energy Efficiency in Buildings (geea), which is steered by the German Energy Agency (dena) demanded.
Last week the government adopted a bill which shall partly transpose Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency by making in particular energy audits mandatory for large companies by 5 December 2015 and in four year intervals thereafter.