The federal elections shall take place only two days from today. We conclude our series by checking whether and to what extent the competing parties agendas have clear positions on German energy politics in a European context. This covers in particular how they support the integration of the German energy market into the European market and the alignment of German energy policy with European developments.
Tag Archive for 'state aid'
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After publication on 6 August 2013 in the Federal Register (Bundesanzeiger), the revised guideline on state aid measures regarding indirect CO2 expenses has come into force. The revised guideline was approved by the European Commission.
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.
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.