Monthly Archive for November, 2014

VDI Energy Poll: Wind Power and CHP With Greatest Potential in the Electricity Supply Market Over Next Five Years

Decentralised combined heat and power plants (CHP) and wind power are believed to have the greatest potential in the electricity supply market in the next five years, a poll by the Association of German Engineers (VDI) among almost 800 VDI members related to the energy sector showed.

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EU Commission Clears EEG 2012 – Orders Partial Recovery of EEG Surcharge Reduction

Following an in-depth investigation, the European Commission announced yesterday that aid granted under the German Renewable Resources Act of 2012 (EEG 2012) was in line with EU state aid rules. The Commission also approved the majority of reductions granted to energy-intensive companies on the surcharge paid by end consumers to finance the support for renewables (EEG-surcharge). As the Commission found a limited portion of the reductions exceeding what is permitted under EU state aid rules, the Commission ordered a partial recovery for the years 2013 and 2014. The Commission, which had already approved most parts of the EEG revision that entered into force on 1 August 2014, also approved the EEG 2014 for the railway sector.

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Additional 22 to 55 Million Tonnes of CO2 Reduction from Conventional Power Plants by 2020?

The Ministry of Economic Affairs is working on plans to request an additional reduction of 22 to 55 million tonnes of CO2 from conventional power plants by 2020, several newspapers reported.

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First Ministerial Draft for Ordinance Regulating Competitive Bidding in 2015/2016 for Financial Support for German PV Power Plants

Based on its key points presented in July 2014 the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has drafted a proposal for an ordinance that regulates auctions in which financial support for freestanding PV power plants under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) shall be determined as of 2015.

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Consultation on Proposal for Ordinance Amending Ordinances Regulating EEG Surcharge

The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has submitted a draft ordinance amending the Equalisation Scheme Ordinance (AusglMechV) and the Execution Ordinance (AusglMechAV) for review and comment by the stakeholders. The amendment intends to bring AusglMechV and AusglMechAV in line with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2014) that entered into force on 1 August 2014. An important aspect is that the renewable energy surcharge on electricity (EEG surcharge), which under the EEG 2014 has to be paid also for self-generated and consumed green power (certain grandfathering rules and exemptions apply), shall not be levied by the transmission system operators (TSOs), but by the operators of the grid the renewable power plant is connected to.

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EEG 2014 Amendment: Railroad Operator Special Equalisation Scheme Revision and “Statutory Maintenance”

A ministerial draft amending the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2014) that entered into force on 1 August 2014 has been sent out to the federal states (Länder) and trade sector associations for review (so-called Länder- und Verbändeanhörung) by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). The amendment shall in particular ensure that new railroad operators can benefit from the so-called special equalisation scheme laid down in Section 65 EEG.

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Advisory Committee to BMWi Recommends Electricity Grid Charges Reflecting Grid Utilisation

The Scientific Advisory Committee to the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has published an expert opinion on “Congestion-related Payments by Users and Infrastructure Investments in Grids”, covering the transport, electricity and telecommunication sectors. For the electricity market the report recommends grid charges that reflect grid utilisation.

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BNetzA Approves Majority of Gas Grid Projects Contained in Gas Grid Development Plan 2014

Yesterday the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) approved 51 gas grid expansion projects proposed by the gas transmission system operators (TSOs) in the Gas Grid Development Plan 2014 (Netzentwicklungsplans Gas 2014 – NEP Gas 2014) and asked the TSOs to remove 5 projects from the plan. Investments are worth EUR 2.8 billion. With this decision NEP Gas 2014 has become binding.

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TSOs 2016 EEG Surcharge Forecast: Trend 6.5 ct/kWh, Range 5.66 to 7.27 ct/kWh

Last Friday the four German transmission system operators (TSOs) presented their forecast for the 2016 EEG surcharge range. The current trend points towards 6.5 ct/kWh, with a likely range between 5.66 and 7.27 ct/kWh. The lower and the top end of this rather wide range are 0.51 ct/kWh less respectively 1.1 ct/kWh higher than the EEG surcharge of 6.17 ct/kWh for 2015. The TSOs also published the 5-year medium term forecast on renewable power (Mittelfristprognose), providing information on expected installed capacity, renewable power input into the grids, payments made to operators in accordance with the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) and sales to final consumers (Letztverbraucherabsatz).

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Energy Lawyers in Who’s Who Legal Germany 2015

I am happy to report that Who’s Who Legal has again identified my partner Manfred Ungemach and myself in their Germany 2015 review as being amongst Germany’s leading lawyers.

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