Government Submits Third Bill Amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2014)

The government has submitted a third bill amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act that entered into force on 1 August 2014 (EEG 2014). The bill extends the possibility to claim a reduction of the Renewable Energy Surcharge to more energy-intensive industries and corrects an uncertainty that has arisen under the EEG 2014 with regard to financial support for renewable power plants that use a shared meter.

1. Extension of the Special Equalisation Scheme for Energy Intensive Companies to More Sectors

The bill proposes to add to two more energy intensive industries to list 2 of Annex 4 of the EEG 2014 so that companies from these sectors can claim an EEG surcharge reduction pursuant to the so-called special equalisation scheme regulated in Sections 63 to 69 EEG 2014.

The extension is considered to be subject to state aid clearance by the European Commission. According to the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, the sectors to be included fulfill the criteria for state aid set out by the European Commission in the Guidelines on State Aid for Environmental Protection and Energy 2014-2020 (EEAG). The government announced to notify the new provisions, adding it was still of the opinion that the special equalisation scheme as such did not constitute state aid.

2. Financial Support under the EEG for Renewable Power Plants Sharing a Meter

The explanatory memorandum to the bill points out (cf. page 13) that there is uncertainty under the EEG 2014 if renewable power plants share a meter and want to partially sell the energy directly (mandatory for most new plants under the EEG 2014, cf. Section 34 EEG 2014) and partially claim feed-in tariffs (only possible in exceptional cases for new plants under the EEG 2014, cf. Sections 38, 39 EEG 2014). Although the explanatory memorandum to the original EEG 2014 revision wanted to allow this, the wording of Section 25 para. 2 sent. 1 no. 3 EEG 2014 sanctioned such behaviour (support is reduced to the market value) the new explanatory memorandum says. Hence the bill proposes to delete Section 25 para. 2 sent. 1 no. 3 EEG 2014 with retroactive effect (cf. Article 2).

3. Terminology

Since the terminology regarding the EEG amendments is somewhat confusing, here is an explanation.

The first amendment was already adopted and promulgated before the EEG 2014 entered into force on 1 August 2014. It corrected errors that had occured in the major overhaul of the law. The amendment was not numbered as the first one. The amendments were added to another bill.

The second amendment occurred with the Act of 22 December 2014 Amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act.

The above described draft bill would actually be the third amendment. However, the draft is entitled “Draft for a Second Act Amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act”.

Source: BMWi, Deutscher Bundestag DIP

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