In the talks aimed at forming a coalition government between the conservative CDU and CSU sister parties and the Social Democrats (SPD), the negotiators for energy agreed to extend the period until which operators of offshore wind farm have the right to opt for a higher initial feed-in tariff that is paid for a shorter period than the regular initial tariff (so-called Stauchungmodell).
Currently offshore wind installation operators can chose to receive an increased initial tariff of 19 ct/kWh during the first eight years from the date of commissioning if the offshore installation was commissioned prior to 1 January 2018. The regular initial tariff amounts to 15 ct/kWh for a period of twelve years following the commissioning (cf. Section 31 Renewable Energy Sources Act – EEG).
The conservative acting Environment Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) and the state premier of Lower-Saxony Stephan Weil, a Social Democrat, said the parties had agreed to extend the deadline by which offshore wind farm have to be commissioned for operators to be able to opt for the increased initial tariff scheme by two years to 31 December 2019.
Despite some of the highest feed-in tariffs, offshore wind power capacity in Germany presently amounts to 520.3 MW. Two days ago, the offshore developer Bard Group announced to cease operations by mid-2014. In September 2013 the wind farm developer Windreich GmbH filed for insolvency under debtor-in-possession proceedings.
The move by the potential coalition partners is intended to help the struggling offshore wind industry(regarding the amendment of the ManyElectronics Act, which was aimed at speeding up offshore wind power expansion by clarifying grid connection issues, please see here). Many offshore wind power companies are located in Lower-Saxony, which is headed by a coalition government under Premier Stephan Weill. The decision to extend the increased initial tariff option would lead to investment worth EUR 12 billion, Mr Weill said.
On the other hand, the potential coalition partners had previously agreed to reduce the national target for offshore wind power to 6.5 GW by 2020 (presently 10 MW) and 15 GW by 2030 (presently 25 GW).
Source: NDR; Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
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