The European Commission has today adopted two decisions on German support schemes in favour of energy-intensive industries. Both decisions are on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), not the EEG surcharge or grid fees.
Tag Archive for 'state aid'
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Spiegel Online reports that the EU Commission is to open an official investigation under EU state aid rules into the provisions of the German Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) that allow for reductions of the renewable energy surcharge (EEG surcharge) for so-called electricity-intensive manufacturing enterprises and rail operators with high electricity consumption.
Since 2010 the Federal Government supports R&D by German photovoltaic companies, suppliers and research institutions through the “Innovationsallianz Photovoltaik”. A new support programme launched in May 2013 provides additional funds of EUR 50 million for projects of the German photovoltaics industry aimed at reducing manufacturing costs, achieving competitive advantages by cutting-edge technologies and tapping into new markets.
The Commission opened an in-depth investigation to find out whether exemptions for large electricity consumers from network charges granted in Germany since 2011 constitutes unlawful state aid. This comes in addition to the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf yesterday declaring these exemptions void on German constitutional law grounds.
Federal Cabinet (Bundesregierung) approved a guideline on the compensation of indirect CO2 expenses (electricity tariff compensation). It shall compensate energy-intensive companies for the costs of green house gas emissions passed on (most likely) to consumers with the electricity tariffs as of 2013. The guideline had been presented by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi).
The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) is under review for compliance with the EU state aid rules, various newspapers reported. The EEG promotes renewable energy sources by stipulating fixed feed-in tariffs. Due to the costs involved, the EEG feed-in tariff scheme has seen many revisions over the last years. Yet the EEG surcharge for consumers has risen by 47% to 5.277 ct/kWh in 2013, as recently announced.
The European Commission has adopted a framework under which Member states may compensate certain electro-intensive users for part of the higher electricity costs expected to result from a tightening of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as from 2013.
My article “State Aid for the Coal Sector – Inevitable or Dispensable?” has just been published in European State Aid Law Quarterly (EStAL). The article is much more comprehensive that what I can put in a blog post.
The expansion of new storage facilities is a key element for a speedy expansion of renewable energies. The German federal government acknowledged this in last year’s Energy Concept as well as in the 6-point Key Paper for an Accelerated Transformation of the German Energy Infrastructurefollowing the Fukushima nuclear accident. Yesterday, the competent ministries announced to make available EUR 200 million in research funds until 2014.
A subsidy race for the highest government grants has to be avoided, said Federal Minister of Transport Dr. Peter Ramsauer at the meeting of EU Transport Ministers yesterday. He called for a coordination of support schemes on the EU level.