Some More Figures on German EEG Renewables Generation, Revenues, Surcharge, Payments, and the Special Equalisation Scheme

In late December, the government provided interesting data on payments related to the EEG feed-in tariff scheme, including EEG surcharge payments, sales proceeds and the controversial special equalisation scheme. The data was provided in an answer to a minor interpellation (Kleine Anfrage) by members of Alliance ’90/The Greens on “The Consequences of the EEG (Renewables Law) on the Development of the Renewable Surcharge and Renewable Input” and covers information for the years 2000 to 2014.

1. Renewables Generation, Revenue, Surcharge & Payments

We have included the data from the government’s answers to the first four questions on

  • EEG Generation quantities from renewables
  • EEG payments to operators
  • Difference between EEG payments to operators and the revenue from selling the electricity
  • Total EEG surcharge volume

in the following chart:


 Here is the data in table format:

Year Generation renewables (GWh) EEG payments (EUR billion)* Difference    EEG payments and sales(EUR billion)** Total EEG surcharge (EUR billion)*** Share EEG surcharge/EEG payments (%)
2000 0.7
2001 1.1
2002  24,970 2.2 1.7 1.7
2003  28,417 2.6  1.8  1.8
2004  38,511  3.6 2.4 2.4
2005  43,967 4.5  2.8  2.8
2006  51,545 5.8 3.3 3.3
2007  67,010 7.9  4.3  4.3
2008  71,148  9.0 4.7 4.7
2009  75,377 10.8  5.3  5.3
2010  82,332  13.2 9.4 9.4 98.8
2011  103,136  16.8 12.1 13.2 98.6
2012  118,330  21.1 16.0 17.0 98.6
2013  132,400  22.9 16.2 20.4 99.2
2014 23.6 98.7

* As data for 2013 is not yet fully available, the figures for 2013 were based on the estimates of the four German transmission system operators for the renewables surcharge (EEG surcharge) for 2013. The figures as of 2013 also contain electricity for which a market premium was paid (cf. Section 33g EEG).

** The figures relate to the so-called “core surcharge”; for the difference to the next column, please see explanation below.

*** The total EEG surcharge consists of the “core surcharge”. Since a legal change in 2010 according to which the transmission system operators are obliged to sell the renewable energy fed into the German grids at the electricity exchanges, the figures also contain a share that can be attributed to balancing the account and to a liquidity reserve .

2. Special Equalisation Scheme

The following table relates to questions concerning the special equalisation scheme laid down in Sections 4o to 44 EEG, according which energy-intensive companies and rail operators can apply for partial reductions of the EEG surcharge.

Alliance ’90/The Greens have been critical in the past of the the steadily rising number of reductions. In mid-December 2013 the European Commission opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether the reduction granted to energy-intensive companies on the EEG-surcharge is compatible with EU state aid rules. The Commission is also investigating the reduction on the EEG-surcharge granted to suppliers that source 50% of their electricity portfolio from domestic renewable electricity (“green electricity privilege”).

The report provides the following data on the development of the reductions under Sections 40 to 44 EEG.

Year Companies benefitting from reduction Exempted quantities  (GWh) Calculated value exemptions  (Billion EUR)*
2005 297 63,474  0.4
2006 327 70,161 0.5
2007  382 72,050  0.6
2008 426  77,990 0.7
2009  507 65,023  0.7
2010 566  80,665 1.2
2011 603 85,118 2.2
2012 734  86,127 2.5
2013 1,720  96,225 4.0

* Data for 2010 to 2013 are based on estimates by the TSOs.

The government points out that the number is not based on actual lost revenue for the EEG account, as the exempted quantities are part of the calculation of the EEG surcharge.

The report also stresses that for the interpretation of the the data it should be noted that it is based on a purely statistical/fictitious calculation. The biggest part of the calculated additional revenue could only be achieved in the short term and for a limited amount of time. If the full EEG surcharge would be payable, German energy intensive industries would suffer severe competitive disadvantages, which would lead to reduced generation in Germany and consequently reduced EEG surcharge payments.

The government furthermore points out that the strong increase to EUR 4 billion was not so much due to the increase in electricity quantities eligible for reduction but rather to the continuing rise in the difference between the EEG payments and the revenue for the sale of the renewable energy at the electricity exchanges (EEG differential costs).  If the EEG differential costs for 2009 were still applied to the respective GWh eligible for reduction in 2013, energy-intensive companies would only benefit from a EUR 1 billion reduction.

3. Average Sales Revenue for Renewable Energy

The average revenue for renewable energy obtained by the TSOs since 2010 at the spot market amounted to

  • 4.3 ct/kWh in 2010
  • 4,9 ct/kWh in 2011
  • 4.2 ct/kWh in 2012
  • 3.6 ct/kWh in 2013

4. Further Information

The report contains further information on the effect of lower electricity prices at the electricity exchange on the increased EEG surcharge, including the relevance of additional payments due to insufficient EEG surcharge payments in the previous year.  It also contains figures on how increasing exemptions for companies affected the EEG surcharge.

Source: Bundestag, ref. no. BT Drs. 18/242

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