BDEW Warns of Underfunding of Energy and Climate Fund and Calls for Improved Promotion of Energy-Efficient Renovation

The Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) warned against a lack of funding of the Energy and Climate Fund, which BDEW called a key element in the recent change of the German energy policy that provides for a withdrawal from nuclear power and more renewable energy. Without adequate funding for the promotion of energy efficiency and the development of innovative technologies in the field of renewable energy there was the danger that essential support programmes had to be cut back, Hildegard Müller, head of BDEW pointed out.

As of 2012 the fund’s income will come entirely from the sale of CO2 emission allowances. BDEW believes that the budgeted revenue will not be reached in 2012, as the price of CO2 allowances was lower than predicted by the government. According to BDEW’s calculations revenue might only amount to EUR 640 million or less next year, instead of the budgeted EUR 780 million.

To avoid underfunding, BDEW suggests to pay the income from the additional VAT tax on the EEG reallocation charge (EEG-Umlage, also called EEG surcharge) into the fund. The EEG reallocation charge increased from EUR 2.047 Cent/kWh in 2010 to 3.53 Cent/kWh in 2011. Pursuant to the EEG, electricity consumers have to pay for the difference between the market price for electricity and the feed-in tariffs for renewable energy paid under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) by paying the EEG reallocation charge. Regardless of the exact amount of the surcharge for 2012, the state would at any rate receive high additional VAT taxes in the years to come, BDEW predicts.

Hildegard Müller also pointed out that as of 2012 the money for the stated-owned KfW development bank’s CO2 renovation programme totalling EUR 1.5 billion would be paid out of the Energy and Climate Fund. In line with calls by institutions like dena/geea and others, she demanded that the government and the federal states reach a compromise with respect to the Act on Fiscal Measures Promoting Energy-Efficient Renovations of Residential Buildings, the only bill of the recent energy legislative package, which the Bundesrat (Federal Council) did not approve of. KfW funding alone was not enough to reach the government’s goal of stepping up energy-efficient renovation of old buildings from 1% to 2% per year.

Source: BDEW

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