EEG 2.0: Federal Council Requests Numerous Changes to Government’s Renewable Energy Reform Bills

The Federal Council (Bundesrat) today decided to request several changes to Mr. Gabriel’s EEG 2.0 reform bills. The changes would soften the government’s proposed cost reduction measures.

Procedurally, the Bundesrat presented its views on both renewable energy bills that the government has recently presented, passing two separate decisions to deal with the bills

Today’s decisions of the Bundesrat are only a first round and non-binding assessments of the bills. The Bundesrat’s position will be considered as part of the legislative procedure in the Bundestag that started on 7 May 2014. The Bundesrat will again decide about the bills after the Bundestag will have decided about them in its final, so called third reading.

In preparation for today’s decision, the Bundesrat’s committees as well as individual Länder proposed numerous changes to the government’s bills.

Regarding the main EEG reform bill, the Bundesrat’s committees request about 100 changes over 77 pages. The decision for the main EEG bill covered 23 items, the decision for the special equalisation scheme 10 items, they covered inter alia

  • Changes of support thresholds and de minimis clauses
  • Reducing cuts, and
  • Extending deadlines

Conceptually, the Federal Council raised issues such as

  • Insufficient coherence with climate change targets
  • Request for minimum additional renewables quantities
  • Current targets not ambitious enough, as they would not lead to a significant reduction of CO2 emissions
  • Quantitative measures using expansion corridors would not lead to a reduction of the EEG surcharge
  • Objections against mandatory auctioning
  • Annual adjustment of support instead of quarterly adjustments for biomass
  • More flexibility regarding degression for biomass, wind onshore and PV
  • Expansion of the biomass corridor from 100 MW/year to 200 or 300 MW/year, or only counting net additions
  • Several requests regarding the self consumption privilege (§ 58 EEG), including increasing the de minimis threshold from 10 kW to 100kW
  • Reduction of the EEG surcharge for railways
  • Lower Saxony: Request to allow underground extra high voltage cables also outside of pilot projects
  • And many more

Despite the Federal Council’s decision, the EEG 2014 revision project appears to be still on track for entry into force on 1 August 2014. Next steps are

  • Bundestag: Committee phase, has started after first reading on 8 May 2014
  • Bundestag: Second and third reading possibly in June 2014/last week before summer recess (30 June to 4 July 2014)
  • Bundesrat: possibly in last sitting before summer recess (11 July 2014).
  • Entry into force: presently scheduled for 1 August 2014.

We will also be covering the Bundesrat’s request in our upcoming EEG 2.0 webinar.

Source: Bundesrat

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