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Rösler Calls for EEG Reform Before Elections, Altmaier Proposes Amendment to Limit Electricity Prices

The discussion about a revision of the renewable energy support regime picked up speed with two recent initiatives. Liberal Economics Minister Philipp Rösler called (again) for a fundamental reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), while his Conservative cabinet colleague Environment Minister Peter Altmaier proposed measures to limit electricity prices by limiting the EEG related costs.

Costs associated with the phase-out of nuclear power in Germany until 2022 and with having a greater share of renewable energy have been the subject of increasing awareness since the legislative package of 2011 that lead to the Energiewende. In January the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) pointed out the various rising surcharges for consumers, in particular the 47% rise of the EEG surcharge to 5.28 ct/kWh. With said surcharge consumers pay for the difference between the fixed feed-in tariffs paid pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) for renewable energy fed into the grids and the sale of the renewable energy at the EEX energy exchange by the transmission system operators. Not surprisingly there have been calls from various camps to put a stop to the increase of the electricity prices.

Mr Altmaier [1] has repeatedly said he wanted a broad consensus for an EEG reform, hence a fundamental reform was not likely to take place before the federal election. Mr Rösler [2] on the other hand called for an EEG reform before the election. In a press release issued by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) today, Mr Rösler reiterated his demand, saying the government had to put a stop to the spiraling costs. Without going into further detail he demanded a fundamental reform of the EEG.

Today Mr Altmaier proposed an amendment of the EEG to be enacted by August this year, i.e. before the election, to limit electricity prices by limiting the EEG related costs.

His proposal consists of the following aspects:

Sources: Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology [4]; Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety [5]; Spiegel [6]

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