Final seal on German EEG reforms

Germany’s upper house today passed the country’s reformed renewable energies act (EEG), marking the final stage of the hotly-debated law’s journey onto the statute books.

The lower house of parliament had already approved the EEG in June – but the final hurdle could only be cleared after Berlin this week settled a long-standing dispute with the European Commission (EC) over the renewables surcharge, which Germany levies to pay for clean energy expansion.

The EC has raised a range of concerns over the surcharge – some only as recently as last month – but this week said it was content with the arrangements in place following negotiations with the German authorities.

The revamped EEG,which takes effect from 1 August, for the first time sets a cap on the expansion of renewables' share of Germany’s electricity output of 45% by 2025, and of 60% by 2035, up from around 25% now.

It contains measures designed to limit the expansion of both the wind and PV sectors – with the latter generally seen as having had the harder deal after years of breakneck growth.