Handelsblatt: Another Considerable Rise of EEG Surcharge on the Horizon

The surcharge or reallocation charge for renewable energy sources pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) may rise from  3.592 ct/kWh in 2012 to between 4.8 to 5.2 ct/kWh in 2013, the newspaper Handelsblatt reported.

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

A 33% rise of the EEG reallocation charge to 4.8 ct/kWh would be another considerable increase of the total costs of roughly EUR 13 billion, Handelsblatt says (for the exact costs in 2011 please see here). While the EEG surcharge only rose slightly from 3.53 ct/kWh in 2011 to 3.592 ct/kWh in 2012, it already increased by 72% in 2011 (2010: 2.047 Cent/kWh).

Handelsblatt points out that the TSOs did not want to confirm the rumours, but said that the EEG surcharge for 2013 would be fixed in October 2012. However, they said there was “considerable pressure” to increase the charge, Handelsblatt writes. The paper cites the strong growth in photovoltaic capacities, the high wind yield and the new direct marketing scheme for renewable energy that was introduced with EEG amendment (EEG 2012) that entered into force on 1 January 2012.

To further encourage direct marketing, the EEG 2012 provides that producers of green electricity that market the electricity themselves do not receive the fixed feed-in tariffs paid under the EEG, but can claim a market premium in addition to the revenue obtained by the sale of the electricity.  It is calculated as the difference between the EEG feed-in tariff and the monthly ex-post average price at the energy exchange and a management fee that differs with respect to the various forms of renewable energy. The management fee covers transactional costs like the cost for the listing at the energy exchange and other trading related costs as well as the costs for forecast errors regarding the actual amount of energy fed into the grid. Especially wind power producers widely use the new direct marketing possibilities.

Besides not all consumers do have to pay the EEG surcharge in full. The EEG provides for limitations of the fee for utilities that sell a certain amount of green power (so-called green power privilege; Section 39 EEG) and for energy-intensive companies and rail operators (Sections 40 to 44 EEG).

In light of the additionally installed solar capacity, a good wind year and offshore wind generation increasing, a rise of the EEG surcharge appears quite likely, despite the recent efforts to cut solar feed in tariffs once again.

Source: Handelsblatt

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