The Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) has published information regarding the reduction of the surcharge promoting renewable energy sources in Germany (“EEG-surcharge”) for energy-intensive companies and rail operators. According to these figures the amount of privileged companies increased by 378 companies from 1,720 in 2013 to 2098 in 2014.
With the EEG surcharge (EEG-Umlage), consumers pay for the difference between the feed-in tariffs paid pursuant to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) for renewable energy and the sale of the renewable energy at the EPEX Spot by the transmission system operators (TSOs). For certain energy-intensive companies and rail operators, the EEG surcharge can by limited by BAFA upon application. This limitation is intended to reduce the electricity costs for these enterprises, thereby maintaining their international and intermodal competitiveness.
However, as previously reported, the European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation to examine whether the reduction granted to energy-intensive companies on the EEG surcharge is compatible with EU state aid rules.
2,388 companies (2,315 energy-intensive companies and 73 railway operators) applied for a limitation of the EEG surcharge for the year 2014. This is an increase of 16 % compared to last year. BAFA granted a limitation to 2.098 applicants (2,026 energy-intensive companies and 72 railway operators). The amount of the privileged electricity in 2014 is 107,101 GWh and has risen by 11,544 GWh compared to last year. The discharge is expected to be 5.1 billion euros (4.0 billion euros in 2013).
The majority of the privileged electricity amount was granted to companies in North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria and Lower Saxony. The top 3 of the privileged sectors are the chemical, metal and paper industry.
According to the EEG currently applicable, applications for a limited EEG surcharge in 2015 have to be handed in with the necessary documentation by 30 June according to Sec. 43 EEG. In general the BAFA decision will take effect as of 1 January of the following year for the duration of one year. Due to the ongoing EU state aid proceedings, however, applications may not be decided unless the EU state aid proceedings will be finished.
With regard to the planned amendment of the EEG, Dr. Wallraff, president of BAFA, emphasised: “Planning and legal certainty are essential requirements for the companies. I therefore appeal urgently to politics to provide in a timely manner a clear and reliable basis for the new application process.”
Source: BAFA press release 12 February 2014, BAFA press release 11 February 2014, BAFA Paper: Background information for special compensation scheme – application process 2013 limiting the EEG surcharge in 2014
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