On 28 May the government responded to the Federal Council’s recent statements concerning the government’s bill for a reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) presented on 8 April and government’s supplementary bill regarding the special equalisation scheme for the EEG surcharge regime for energy and trading intensive companies presented at the beginning of May.
The Cabinet emphasised that government and the federal states thoroughly discussed the EEG reform bill at a meeting with the state premiers (the main representatives of the federal states, which are represented in the Federal Council) on 1 April 2014. At the time general agreement was reached and the main elements were not disputed, government said. Besides, the responses by government were guided by the main targets of the reform: to curb the rising EEG-related costs while at the same time ensuring reliable growth for renewable energy sources, thus increasing planning and investor certainty for all players of the energy sector. Moreover, the amendment was intended to meet the concerns by the European Commission (for more information, please see here) thereby eliminating risks for operators of renewable power plants and energy-intensive companies, government said.
Concerning the EEG reform bill Federal Council (Bundesrat) proposed nineteen amendments and adopted four resolutions. Government rejected the majority of the amendments. It approved some of the proposed changes respectively announced to review the matter, yet the matters do not relate to key elements of the reform.
Regarding the special equalisation scheme Federal Council proposed eight amendments and adopted two resolutions. Government agreed to one amendment, proposing a clarification of the respective provision, and after review of a second matter, proposed another clarification. The special equalisation scheme (besondere Ausgleichsregelung) provisions in the EEG provide for a reductions of the renewables surcharge (EEG surcharge) for energy-intensive companies and railroad operators.
Further readings of the reform bills in Parliament (Bundestag) will take place in June the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy announced, adding that both bills would be merged (for more information on the fact that two separate bills were presented, please see here). The Federal Council is scheduled to decide on the bill in last sitting before summer recess on 11 July 2014. The entry into force is presently scheduled for 1 August 2014.
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