2012 EEG Surcharge Increases Slightly to 3.592 ct/kWh

The German transmission system operators (TSOs) have today published the EEG reallocation charge (also called EEG surcharge) for 2012. It amounts to 3.592 ct/kWh. This constitutes a slight increase compared with the 2011 charge of 3.53 ct/kWh.

With the EEG surcharge, consumers pay for the difference between the guaranteed feed-in tariffs paid pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) for renewable energy fed into the grids and the sale of the renewable energy at the EEX energy exchange by the TSO. The complex system of the sale of the renewable energy by TSOs and their compensation is laid down in AusglMechV and the corresponding AusglMechAV.

The forecast for the 2012 reallocation charge has been made on the basis of the  revised EEG that will become effective 1 January 2012, the TSOs point out. The EEG 2012 makes certain amendments to feed-in tariffs, in particular with regard to offshore wind power, and gives a stronger incentive for the direct marketing of renewable energy. To encourage direct marketing, which is currently allowed pursuant to Section 17 EEG 2009, the amendment proposes a market premium (Marktprämie) which operators shall be able to opt for instead of receiving the fixed feed-in tariff.

For 2012 the TSOs calculate with expenses due to EEG remunerated feed-in tariffs and services of EUR 17,964 billion and revenue of EUR 4,957 billion. Due to a negative balance on their current EEG account and a negative liquidity reserve, TSO calculate with EUR 14,108 billion which have to be passed on to consumers in 2012.

The estimated total of EUR 14,108 billion results in 3.592 ct/kWh. For a 3 person household with an electricity consumption of 3,500 kWh per year the increased renewables surcharge will translate into EUR 125.72 for 2012, up from 123.55 in 2011.

Since 2010 the EEG surcharge has risen from 2.047 ct/kWh to 3.53 ct/kWh in 2011 and 3.592 ct/kWh in 2012. The sharp increase from 2010 to 2011 mainly stemmed from an enormous rise in PV capacity in 2010 due to favourable solar feed-in tariffs. As the tariffs have meanwhile been cut, resulting in less new PV capacity in 2011, the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) reportedly believed  in March that the EEG reallocation charge for 2011 was too high. However, their were indications of a rise in the recent past. Given the current German system of fixed feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, German EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger was reported to see the EEG reallocation charge moving towards 6 ct/kWh over the next years, while Stephan Kohler, chief executive of the German Energy Agency (dena) told the media reportedly believed the surcharge to increase to 5 ct/kWh until 2020 and to 3.8 ct/kWh or more in 2012. Compared with these estimates, the increase published today is surprisingly moderate.

After 7.4 GWp of additional PV capacity in 2010, the 2012 EEG surcharge is based on forecasts of new PV capacity of 6.5 GWp in 2011 and 4.5 GWp in 2012.  This would lead to a total of 28.3 GWp by the end of 2012.

As the EEG surcharge for the coming year is necessarily a forecast, any differences between the actual payments for feed-in tariffs and the revenue obtained would be carried forward and charged with the 2013 surcharge.

As the TSOs point out, there is a special equalisation scheme for electricity-intensive companies and rail operators set forth in the EEG. Pursuant to these provisons the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control can under certain conditions limit the EEG surcharge to 0.05 ct/kWh. Furthermore the EEG provides that the green power privilege is capped at 2 ct/kWh for utility companies which, of the total quantity of electricity supplied by them, supply at least 50% renewable energy for which feed-in tariffs are paid pursuant to the EEG. With the revised EEG that will become effective 1 January 2012, slight amendments of the above-mentioned exceptions will enter into force.

Source: EEG-KWK.net

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