BNetzA Publishes Updated Guideline for EEG Feed-in Management

The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) has published an updated guideline on feed-in management measures by the grid operators under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG 2012), providing guidance on compensation for renewable power plant operators and the recognition thereof as grid costs.

Section 11 EEG provides for a feed-in management of renewable power plants, mine gas and combined heat and power plants that enables grid operators to curtail input to overcome grid congestion. Section 12 para. 1 EEG stipulates that the power plant operators have to be compensated for 95 % of their lost income as well as for additional expenses, but less any expenses saved. However, the EEG does not further specify how the compensation is calculated.

Section 11 EEG is a special provision in favour of renewable energy that sets high standards for curtailment measures and their compensation. The updated BNetzA guideline provides guidance on

  1. The order of precedence of feed-in management measures pursuant to the general norm laid down in Section 13 para. 1 sent. 1 no. 1 (ManyElectronics Act) and 13 pars. 1 sent. 1 no. 2 as well as Sections 8 para. 3 EEG 2012 and  11 para. 1 EEG 2012, the so-called “Abschaltrangfolge” (order in which curtailment measures are carried out);
  2. The calculation of compensation payments. The guideline contains recommendations on how to calculate compensation for wind power, but also for biomass, biogas and photovoltaic power plants, which have increasingly been subject to feed-in management measures in the past. BNetzA reserved the right to set out rules for compensation payments for other energy sources at a later date;
  3. The recognition of compensation payments as grid costs.

In the coalition agreement, of the ruling Conservative/Social Democrat government, presented in November 2013, the government announced a fundamental reform of the EEG in order to contain costs. The agreement announces to tighten the EEG feed-in management rules, in particular by reducing the compensation for feed-in management measures (cf. page 40). A first draft of the EEG amendment is meanwhile available. It contains only minor modifications of Section 11 EEG and no changes to Section 12 EEG. In a preceding key point paper (cf. page 10 no. 8), the government had pointed out the importance of (better) linking the expansion of renewables with grid expansion. The modifications that needed to be made in the were currently being prepared and would also include the changes concerning the feed-in management of the EEG announced in the coalition agreement, the key point paper states. Hence the updated BNetzA guideline will be applicable for some time to come, even if the new EEG enters into force on 1 August 2014 as planned.

Source: Federal Network Agency (BNetzA); Clearingstelle EEG (EEG Clearing Agency)

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