EEG Revison – Initial Consultation Phase for Ministerial Draft Bill

The ministerial draft bill (Referentenentwurf) for the upcoming amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) has been released by the Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety for comments to organisations and groups which will be affected by the law. Concurrently, the draft has been submitted to other ministries which are concerned with the EEG for consultation.

The draft calls the EEG amendment a central building block for the transformation of energy generation and for entering the age of renewables. It is based on the recommendations for further action contained in the recently published Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) progress report.

In line with the government’s targets for the expansion of renewable energies set out in last year’s Energy Concept, the EEG shall be further developed in a way that provides for the transition of a small share of renewable energies to a market share of 35 to 40% within this decade. Section 1 EEG shall be amended to incorporate the Energy Concept’s targets for renewables of 35% by 2020, 50% by 2030, 65% by 2040 and 80% by 2050.

The growing amount of renewable energy shall increasingly be sold in a more market-oriented way. Hence, market integration shall become an integral part of the EEG. The new part 3a (Sections 33a to 33h) is devoted to direct marketing of renewable energy. To encourage direct marketing, which is already allowed pursuant to Section 17 EEG, the amendment proposes a market premium (Marktprämie) which operators shall be able to opt for instead of receiving the fixed feed-in tariff.  It shall be calculated as the difference between the respective EEG feed-in tariff and the monthly ex-post average price for the energy source specific reference market value (energieträgerspezifischer Referenzmarktwert).

The draft also follows other recommendations made in the EEG progress report. Amendments are inter alia being proposed with respect to the feed-in tariffs in order to give investment certainty and encourage renewables on the one hand, while at the same time avoiding excessive tariffs. Improvements of the feed-in tariff system are being proposed with respect to offshore wind power and geothermal energy.

The draft also proposes important changes in the special equalisation rules for energy intensive industries (mainly Section 40, 41).

According to the draft, the EEG amendments will only result in a moderate increase of the EEG reallocation charge of EUR 0.2 Cent/kwh for period from 2012 to 2030. Pursuant to the EEG, electricity consumers have to bear the difference between the market price and the feed-in tariffs by paying an EEG reallocation charge (EEG-Umlage, also called EEG surcharge).

Source: Clearingstelle EEG

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