The German Federal Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the EEG 2016 bill. Federal Minister Gabriel speaks of a paradigm shift for the renewable’s support. It looks like the government may have a very ambitious timetable in mind to get the bill through the legislative process. Continue reading ‘Federal Cabinet Clears EEG 2016 Bill – Starting the Parliamentary Race to Meet EU State Aid Law Deadlines’
Author Archive for Matthias Lang and Alexandra Bednarek
The German Federal Cabinet last week agreed on three energy projects items on its energy turnaround agenda. This included the (very limited) opening of tenders for the support of renewable energies for other EU Member States, the revision of the Incentive Regulation Ordinance amending incentives towards investments into distribution networks, and the decision to implement the KFK-proposal regarding the financing of the nuclear power phase-out, including post spin-off liability.
Cabinet members and state premiers have reportedly agreed on key points of the Renewable Energy Act 2016 reform (EEG 2016). According to Chancellor Angela Merkel, final agreement has not been reached yet, but outlines and orientation points are clearly recognisable. Energy minister Gabriel said that agreement was reached on 90% of the issues.
The European Commission has declared German plans to grant EUR 1.6 billion public financing for decommissioning and subsequently closing eight lignite-fired power plants to be in line with EU state aid rules.
To boost electric car sales in Germany, the government last week presented a new initiative, proposing incentive premiums of EUR 4,000 for all-electric cars and EUR 3,000 for plug-in hybrids. The initiative was presented after a high-level meeting at the Chancellery between several ministers and car industry representatives. The project is still on the political level, so that several details of this e-mobility initiative still have to be worked out. As half of the premium shall not be paid by the government but by (participating) car manufacturers, we still have to see who will pay the premium, and whether commercially the premium will be only half of the politically announced figure.
The Commission to Review the Financing for the Phase-out of Nuclear Energy (Kommission zur Überführung der Finanzierung des Kernenergieausstiegs – KFK) presented its final report on 27 April 2016. It included a proposal to establish a EUR 23.3 billion state operated fund to finance nuclear waste storage, initially paid for by the power plant operators of Germany’s four large utilities – RWE, E.ON, Vattenfall and EnBW. Responsibility for decommissioning and dismantling the nuclear power plants shall remain with the operators indefinitely.
With its Electricity Market 2.0 project, the German government wants to take an important step towards enhanced integration of renewable energy sources into the electricity market. Renewables in 2015 already constituted about one third of Germany’s electricity consumption. The challenge is to integrate an increasing amount of intermittent renewable energy with feed-in priority into the system, in a secure, cost-efficient and sustainable way.
On 13 April, the Committee on Economic Affairs and Energy of the German Bundestag held a public hearing on the Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Turnaround. A key component of this bill is the Metering Point Operating Act (Messstellenbetriebsgesetz – MsbG). Despite agreement in many areas, the experts also remained critical on various aspects of the bill.
In 2015, CO2 reductions using renewable energy electricity supported by the German Renewable Sources Act (EEG) amounted to about 103 million tonnes. In the same period, net EEG payments amounted to about EUR 22.6 billion. Average cost per tonne of CO2 reduced using the EEG therefore amounted to about EUR 219/tonne. During the same period, the price for EU Emission Allowances (EUA) at the EEX secondary market was somewhere between above EUR 6 and below EUR 9 per tonne CO2.
The Bonn Regional Court (LG Bonn) dismissed EnBW’s compensation claim against the Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Baden-Württemberg. EnBW had asked for EUR 261 million because of the temporary unlawful moratorium shutdown of the Neckarwestheim I and Philippsburg I nuclear power plants.