Monthly Archive for April, 2014

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Bavarian Government Adopts Draft Bill for Minimum Distances of Wind Power Plants to Residential Housing

The Bavarian government has adopted a draft bill regulating minimum distances of wind power plants to residential housing. Bavaria is thus the first federal state that makes use of a draft bill the German government adopted together with the bill on a reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). The bill amending the Federal Building Code allows the federal states to include minimum distances in the state building laws (cf. new Section 249 no. 3 BauGB).

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New European Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy 2014-2020 Allow Burden Reduction for Energy Intensive Sectors

The European Commission has today released its state aid guidelines for assessing public support projects in the field of energy and the environment for the period 2014 to 2020. Under the new regime the German government shall be able to largely uphold reductions on the EEG surcharge, though reductions will have to be scaled back and can only be granted to a more limited group of companies.

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EEG 2.0: Cabinet Adopts Renewables Law Amendment Bill – Agreement with Brussels on EEG Surcharge Reductions for Industry

In line with the schedule set by Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), the government today adopted today the bill amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). It is officially intended to cut costs for the support renewables as of 1 August 2014 by subjecting renewable energy sources to market forces to a greater extent, while ensuring continued renewable growth. The bill does not yet contain provisions on EEG reductions for energy-intensive industries, which had been discussed with the Commission in Brussels. Agreement had been reached late last night, Minister Gabriel informed.

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New Information by BDEW and BNetzA on Expected German Power Generation Capacity Developments

The latest update of the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry’s (BDEW) list of power plant projects planned until 2020 (or without date for commissioning) comprising plants with a high availability (conventional and offshore plants) mentions increasing investor uncertainty and reluctance, with an exception in the offshore sector. On 2 April 2014 the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) also presented an update of its list of existing power plants and gave new information on prospective construction and decommissioning.

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Fraunhofer ISE: Strong Increase in Renewable Input in Q1, Particularly from Solar Power Plants

New information by Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE show that renewable power input accounted for 28% of the German electricity mix in the first quarter of 2014. Q1 was charaterized by mild temperatures and a high solar and wind power production.

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EEG 2.0: Federal Government and Federal States Reach Agreement on Important Issues of EEG Reform

After a meeting with the sixteen state premiers, Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) and Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel declared that “a high degree of consensus had been reached” on the reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG). Yesterday, the latest draft bill has been published by the Economics and Energy Ministry (BMWi). The government wants to adopt the bill on 8 April 2014. Subsequently, the law that is officially aimed at cutting renewable support costs shall be to submitted to Parliament and the Federal Council so as to  enter into force on 1 August 2014. In view of the tight schedule the government made certain concessions.

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Constitutional Court Declares Complaint Against Curtailment Provision in Energy Act Inadmissible

In a recent decision the Federal Constitutional Court (BVerfG) declared a constitutional complaint (Verfassungsbeschwerde) inadmissible that challenged a provision in the German Energy Act (EnWG) which obliges operators of private power plants to reduce power input on request of the grid operator in return for a compensation. The complaint did not meet the (high) requirements for justification of bringing an constitutional action, BVerfG held.

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EEG 2.0: Updated Ministerial Draft for EEG Reform Published – Comments Requested by 2 April 2014 17:00 CET

The Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has today published a new draft bill for a reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and circulated the draft to top level municipal and other associations for review and comment. The deadline for comments is 2 April 2014 17:00 CET.

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110.414 MWp: New Solar Capacity in February Again Fairly Low

New solar capacity added in February 2014 was again fairly low, amounting to 110.414 MWp, the Federal Network Agency, the German regulator, informed. Total German PV capacity eligible for support under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) amounted to 35,996 MWp at the end of February.

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