The cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel today approved draft reforms of Germany’s Renewable Energies Act (EEG) that met with a cautious welcome from the wind energy industry, but were criticised sharply by the solar sector due to the introduction of a levy on self-consumption.
and her energy minister Sigmar Gabriel last week had reached a compromise with
German states to soften the original reform proposal somewhat, making caps and
cuts to onshore wind less severe.
The proposal still includes an annual cap of
2.5GW for the expansion of onshore wind, but the government now will only
include the net addition resulting from repowering projects toward the cap, not
the entire repowering capacity.
The draft also reduces onshore feed-in
tariffs, but less steeply so for moderate wind inland locations than previously
In accordance with the last draft, average onshore feed-in tariffs
would be granted at €0.089 per megawatt hour for the first five years of
operation and then periodically be lowered by a certain percentage, depending
on the strength of the wind at each location.
“We can live with that,” Stefan Lütkemeyer,
sales manager at Germany’s biggest supplier of onshore turbines Enercon, said at a panel
at the Hanover industrial fair.
“But the discussion isn’t over yet. … If it
comes like this (the reform), coupled with some improvements, we can build on
Germany’s energy ministry says the Bundestag,
the lower house of parliament, after discussing the draft is slated to vote on
it at the end of June, while the Bundesrat, the upper house, should vote on it
reformed EEG for the first time also stipulates 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.
proposal also lowers the target for offshore wind to 6.5GW in 2020 from 10GW
previously planned, and to 15GW in 2030, down from 25GW previously targeted.
But Gabriel, in a compromise with the offshore industry, granted a “buffer” of
another 1.2GW in grid connection approvals by 2020.
was absolutely necessary as the ‘overbooking’ is necessary to actually reach
the 6.5GW,” Markus Rieck, sales director at Alstom in Germany, told Recharge.
grid capacity has to be expanded in order to create possibilities for other
projects in development.”
proposal also extends the so-called compression model for offshore FITs for
another two years until end-2019. That gives operators of offshore parks the
possibility to opt for higher FITs for the first eight years of operation in
order to meet elevated initial investment costs.
solar industry remained sour about the draft reform, however, as the proposal
still expects to slap a surcharge to finance the expansion of renewables for
the first time on self-consumed electricity.
to the draft, energy-intensive industries will have to pay 15% of the levy that
currently is set at €0.062 per KWh of produced electricity, while producers of
renewable energies would be burdened with 50% of the surcharge. Small rooftop
PV installations of up to 10kW will be exempt.
Solar Energy Federation BSW Solar, which has repeatedly warned that a levy on
self-consumption would choke off the already decreasing solar market in the
country, appealed to lawmakers in parliament to erase the levy on
self-consumption from the reform draft.
law hardly has anything to do with climate protection anymore,” BSW managing
director Carsten Körnig said.
sinners are generously being exonerated, climate protectors meanwhile are being
asked to pay.”