Latest data on feed-in tariffs payments for renewable power plants eligible for financial support under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) showed strong differences between the sixteen federal states. Renewable power plant owners in Bavaria received the highest payments, while consumers in the densely populated state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) had to bear the highest EEG surcharges on the electricity prices, the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry (BDEW) informed.
Bavarian renewable power plant owners received approximately EUR 3.5 billion in feed-in tariff payments pursuant to the EEG, while Bavarian electricity payers (only) had to pay EEG surcharges added to the electricity costs amounting to EUR 2.3 billion in total. Hence the surplus amounted to EUR 1.2 billion (2011: EUR 950 million).
In contrast, renewable power plant owners in NRW got payments of less than EUR 1.3 billion, while the state’s electricity consumers paid more than EUR 3.1 billion in EEG surcharges (covering the difference between the fixed EEG payments and the sale of the renewable energy at the energy exchange by the transmission operators). Electricity consumers in the state of NRW therefore paid EUR 1.8 billion in support of renewable energy to other states, BDEW pointed out.
The data come from the latest update of BDEW’s publication “Renewable Energies and the EEG in Figures” (“Erneuerbare Energien und das EEG in Zahlen”). According to BDEW figures, EEG surcharge payments totalled EUR 18 billion in 2012. This was more than double the amount of EUR 7.93 billion that were redistributed in 2012 in Germany among wealthier and poorer federal states in the so-called Länderfinanzausgleich (a financial equalisation scheme among the federal states), BDEW said.
The data also showed that the number of renewable power plants in Germany exceeded the one million mark in 2011 for the first time. Roughly 1.1 million plants generated green energy in Germany, compared with approximately 921,000 in 2010.
All reputable observers agreed that a fundamental reform of the EEG was necessary, Hildegard Müller, head of BDEW said. This included new incentives and tools to steer renewable energy (neue Steuerungselemente), make them market ready and competitive, integrate them into the markets and limit the costs, she pointed out. The tools possibly had to differ depending on the respective renewable energy technology. Mrs Müller called for an EEG amendment to be drafted this year, so that a decision could be taken shortly after the federal election in autumn.