BDEW: More Than 1.34 Million Renewable Power Installations – EEG Reform on the Right Track, Some Fine Tuning Needed

According to the latest data by the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW), 1,346,528 renewable power installations were generating energy in Germany in 2012. Hildegard Müller, Chairman of the BDEW Executive Board, called the plans for an overhaul of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) an important step in the right direction, but said a number of issues still needed to be resolved.

In terms of installation numbers solar power was leading the field with 1,303,219 plants operating in 2012, followed by 22,198 onshore wind power plants and 13,099 biomass power plants.

The largest number of plants eligible for support under the EEG were located in Bavaria (441,504), Baden-Württemberg (249,579) and Nordrhein-Westphalia (191,053). Broken down by renewable energy sources, the largest number of solar power plants (433,767) and the most biomass power plants (3,579) were also installed in Bavaria, while the majority of the onshore wind power plants (5.367) were located in Lower-Saxony. Due to the (more) intensive use of wind and higher full load hours, Lower Saxony leads the table in terms of renewable power production (21.8 billion kWh), followed by Bavaria (19.4 billion kWh) and Nordrhein-Westphalia (12.4 billion kWh).

Although biomass only accounts for 8.1 % of the installed capacity, its share in the renewable electricity production was more than three times higher (26.3%). BDEW called on the government to focus more on the heat market when implementing the energy policy shift towards a mainly renewable energy supply, in particular since roughly a third of the CO2 emissions were caused by the building sector. The energy savings potential was high and biogas (Biogas) and natural bio gas (Bio-Erdgas) were able to contribute very positively, yet the proposals by the government concerning this sector in the EEG overhaul were not conducive to support the flexible use of biogas, on the contrary, they would bring biogas growth to a halt (the government wants to introduce an annual expansion target of 100 MW for the relatively expensive biomass support; for this and further information, please see here).

Generally BDEW supports the EEG overhaul, in particular the measures aimed at subjecting renewables to market forces to a greater extent like the obligation for new renewable power plants to market electricity directly (instead of receiving feed-in tariffs; for more information, please see here). According to the association, the voluntary direct marketing possibility under the current EEG (that provides for a market and management premium in addition to revenue obtained to the sale of the energy) has become a success. In 2012 40% of the total renewable energy were directly sold, in case of onshore wind power even 70%. BDEW expects this share to have risen to 50% in 2013. The exact figure will be available in autumn 2014, BDEW said.

Yet there were still issues that needed clarification and the need to modify the government proposal in some important aspects, BDEW said. Transnational provisions for instance did not meet the requirements for the legal protection of the status quo (Bestandsschutz; a legal concept derived from the constitution)  in the opinion of BDEW.  Besides, BDEW sees the need for further discussion with regard to self-consumption of renewable power by producers. Presently self-consumed electricity is exempted from the EEG surcharge with which consumers pay for the difference between the fixed feed-in tariffs paid pursuant to the EEG for renewable energy fed into the grids and the sale of the renewable energy at the EPEX Spot energy exchange by the TSOs. The government, however, wants producers to contribute to a greater extent (for more information, please see here).

Source: BDEW

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8 Responses to “BDEW: More Than 1.34 Million Renewable Power Installations – EEG Reform on the Right Track, Some Fine Tuning Needed”

  • Thank you for this post.

    EEG 2030 RE and Capital Cost Calculation: The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (“BMWi”) has drafted a first working vision of a revised German Renewables Energy Sources Act (EEG). This first draft led to further clarification of the EEG 2.0 program, i.e. the reform of the EEG.

    The draft revision includes 2030 capacity targets, GW, for new onshore wind, new offshore wind, new solar, new biomass, but no targets for hydro and geothermal energy. Based on the capacity targets, the new RE generated in 2030, and the capital cost spent by 2030, can be calculated as follows:

    Germany’s total generation was 629,000 GWh in 2013. Assume it remains unchanged during the 2015 – 2030 period.

    Wind onshore = 2.5 GW/yr x 15 yrs x 8,760 hr/yr x CF 0.20 = 65,700 GWh in 2030
    Wind offshore = 15 GW by 2030 x 8,760 x 0.40 = 52,560 GWh in 2030
    Solar 2.75/yr GW x 15 x 8,760 x 0.10 = 36,135 GWh in 2030
    Biomass 1.5 GW by 2030 x 8,760 x 0.70 = 9,198 GWh in 2030
    Total = 163,593 GWh in 2030

    The proposed MW, installed per growth targets, will produce a little more than the above 160,395 GWh.

    Wind onshore: Cost/MW 2 million euro; Capacity 37,500 MW; Capital cost 75 b euros.
    Wind offshore: Cost/MW 4 million euro; Capacity 15,000 MW; Capital cost 60 b euros.
    Solar: Cost/MW 2 million euro; Capacity 41,250 MW; Capital cost 82.50 b euros.
    Biomass: Cost/MW 2.5 million euro; Capacity 1500 MW; Capital cost 3.75 b euros.

    Total capital cost = 221.25 b euros.

    The capital cost excludes:

    – EEG supplementary payments, 4.2 b euros in 2013, likely increasing in future years. See above.
    – Onshore/Offshore transmission system build-outs, about 75 b euros, if buried on shore.
    – Capital costs and O&M costs for balancing and backup build-outs, billions of euros, as Germany cannot continue to use neighbors’ grids for that purpose.
    – Capital costs and O&M costs for maintaining “capacity adequacy” of conventional generating units for when wind and solar energy are minimal.

    The end result will be, absent utility-scale, economically-viable energy storage (not yet invented), a capacity of RE systems that produces expensive energy, plus a capacity of conventional energy systems for “capacity adequacy”. The levelized cost of such a dual energy system will be about 2 – 3 times greater than without the RE systems.

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