Research Seminar Current Events in Energy Law – English Slides Available

On 18 June 2015 I gave a presentation at Freie Universität Berlin (FU Berlin) on “Current Events in Energy Law” for the Master of Business, Competition and Regulatory Law Programme. Please let me know if you would like to get the slides (in English).

1. Introduction

The presentation starts with an introduction on the German and European legal and factual situation in energy law.

1.1 Germany

Regarding Germany it provides

  • an overview on the various laws regulating the energy sector;
  • the ministries and regulatory agencies;
  • sites having English information;
  • the German energy mix and Germany’s international position with regard to the deployment of renewable energy sources;
  • the renewable energy surcharge (EEG surcharge) with which consumers finance support of renewable energy sources;
  • household and industry electricity prices.

1.2 Europe

With regard to Europe the presentation points out

2. Current Energiewende Developments

This section deals with the impact and consequences of the German energy transition (Energiewende) towards a mainly renewable energy supply in 2010 and particularly since the 2011 nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, that lead to the German decision to abandon nuclear power by 2022 (a previous nuclear power exit in 2002 did not have a fixed end date as it allocated so-called residual quantities (Reststromengen) to the nuclear power plants; in 2010 Germany briefly extended the operating times of the nuclear power plants as it wanted to use nuclear power as a bridging technology for renewables).

2.1 EEG 2014

It describes the key elements of the Renewable Energy Sources Act of 2014 (EEG 2014) which is the backbone of German renewable power support that aims to increase the share of electricity generated from renewable energy sources to at least 80% by 2050 and provides for interim goals.

2.2 Capacity Market

Due to support by the EEG intermittent renewable energy has quickly increased in Germany over the last years, accounting for 28.5% of gross domestic electricity consumption in the first half of 2014. At the same prices at the power exchanges fallen so that many conventional power plants have become unprofitable and plant owners are thinking of closing them down. This has sparked a discussion about the need for a future market design and the need for capacity market to secure supply. The section on a capacity market provides further information.

2.3 Grid Expansion

The section gives information about the need for grid expansion to accommodate the growing amount of renewable energy sources and the costs thereof as well as the relevant laws.

2.4 Nuclear Power

Various law suits were brought against the nuclear power exit of 2011. The section on nuclear power provides an overview.

2.5 Climate Levy

Starting in December 2014 the German government proposed to make conventional power plants save additional CO2 to reach the government’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2020. For the latest developments, please see the presentation.

2.6 More from the Energy Agenda

The section provides information on other energy-related topics that still have to be dealt with like yet another reform of the EEG to comply with the Commission’s demand to auction support for renewables as of 2017, a reform of the European Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS), energy efficiency etc.

Source: Matthias Lang

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