Consumers Have to Pay 20 Billion in Support of Renewable Energy for 2012

According to the latest data by the German transmission system operators, renewable energy plant operators received payments pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) of approximately EUR 19.5 billion. Including further costs related to the sale of the renewable energy, costs amount to over EUR 20 billion, which ultimately have to be borne by the electricity consumers.

For 2012 the EEG equalisation scheme account of the German transmissions system operators (TSOs) shows a negative balance of EUR -2,691,166,648.46.

The total revenue amounts to EUR 17,295,098,952.78. With EUR 13,933,715,940.74 the main revenue item was the EEG surcharge with which consumers pay for the difference between the fixed feed-in tariffs paid pursuant to the EEG for renewable energy fed into the grids and the sale of the renewable energy at the EEX energy exchange by the TSOs. In 2012 the sale of renewable energy at the energy exchange resulted in revenue of EUR 2,914,205,413.94. Other smaller revenue items added up to EUR 447,177,598.10.

Expenditures in 2012 amounted to EUR 20,066,710,323.50 in total, with feed-in tariffs in the amount of EUR 16,621,170,295.30 being the biggest item, followed by EUR 2,922,692,993.12 in support of renewable energy that is directly marketed (Regarding the direct marketing premium which includes a management premium, please see here). These two positions result in payments of EUR 19,543,863,288.42 to renewable power plant operators. The other expenditure items in connection with the sale of the energy and the payment of the feed-in tariffs add up to EUR 522,847,035.09.

In their forecast for 2012 made in November 2010 the TSOs still expected considerably higher revenue from the sale of the renewable energy at the EEX. The EEG surcharge for 2012 was fixed at 3.592 ct/kWh. Especially due to the continuing solar boom and favourable wind power conditions, renewable energy exceeded the estimates by far and pushed prices down. The EEG surcharge for 2013 therefore rose by 47% to 5.277 ct/kWh.

The total deficit on the EEG equalisation account would have been even higher had not the revenue in November and December again exceeded expenditures by EUR 43,400,892.51 respectively EUR 265,702,788.57. Whether this is linked to a reversal of the solar boom as Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quotes sources in the Environment Ministry as saying or due to the weather (for the latest solar figures please see here), remains to be seen. In 2011 revenue exceeded expenditure on the EEG equalisation account (after it went into negative territory in May) again starting in October 2011, with a monthly surplus of EUR 50,033,143.87 (October 2011), EUR 198,683,746.17 (November 2011) and EUR 542,968,953.66 (December 2011).


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4 Responses to “Consumers Have to Pay 20 Billion in Support of Renewable Energy for 2012”

  • Roughly how much more will consumers have to pay is solar were to ramp up to 52 GW?

    I ran some basic numbers with generalized assumptions and I came up with another billion in annual expenses. This number doesn’t seem right. How can the next 20 GW of PV only cost another billion/year to the EEG assessment? Do you know of any analysis that has looked at cost projections to get to 52 GW?

  • Dimitar Mirchev

    Because they will be signed under much much lower feed-in tariffs compared to the first 20 GWp or the last 10 GWp.

    Also with the feed-in tariffs well bellow the cost of electricity to the consumers it is better to use that electricity for self-consumption instead of selling it. In the light of this consider adding more grid storage which will reduce the electricity sold under the new feed-in tariffs even more. Signing FIT contract will be more for convenience than for profit.

    At least that is how I understand it.

    You may also take a look at this articles from

  • Dimitar Mirchev

    Also this one:

  • I’m trying to verify that my estimate is in the ballpark – even if I’m within a billion I’d be surprised. There are several assumptions that go into the calculation and odds are I slipped on one of them.

    Roesler is already back on his soapbox calling for the FiT to be revised. Normally I’d agree with him but if I’m close with my estimate it means Roesler doesn’t have a case anymore. You’d be hard pressed to choose an alternate plan that only adds an extra billion to electricity costs for getting another 3.5% of your electricity from renewable sources. The case for keeping the current FiT phase out plan looks solid. What’s done is done as far as previous expenditures goes.

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