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Renewable Surcharge Account Records Surplus of EUR 2.9 bn in 2014 – Expenses up 11% to EUR 21.5 bn

The Renewable Surcharge Account (EEG account) ended the year 2014 with a final surplus of EUR 2,851,539,698.15. Total TSO payments for renewables rose by 11% from EUR 19.4 billion in 2013 to EUR 21.5 billion in 2014. In 2014, German consumers paid EUR 22.4 billion in EEG surcharges.

Understanding the 2014 EEG account figures is a bit more difficult this year. First, as we pointed out in a earlier post [1], August EEG payments by the TSOs were more than EUR 1 billion below the July figures due to changing payment flows following the revision of the EEG that entered into force on 1 August 2014 (EEG 2014), and not to dramatically reduced EEG costs. Secondly, 2014 brought a further shift away from feed-in tariffs to direct marketing premiums, meaning that the feed-in tariff related electricity quantities sold by the TSOs went down. At the same time, marketing premium payments increased. Furthermore, the 2015 EEG surcharge has been calculated to achieve a EUR 2.136.011.027,13 liquidity reserve. Finally, the winter months are always surplus months, as there is only little (comparatively costly) PV generation. The high end of 2014 surplus therefore has to be taken with a grain of salt.

The Renewable Surcharge Account (EEG account) recorded a surplus of EUR 3,076,864,115.57 for the twelve months of 2014. From this, the 2013 unplanned deficit of EUR -225,324,417.42 were deducted, so that the final EEG account surplus was EUR 2,851,539,698.15. At the end of 2012 we had an uplanned deficit of EUR -2,691,166,648.46 [2]. Total expenses in support of renewable energy under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) rose from EUR 19,377,877,036.05 in 2013 to EUR 21,513,249.231.99 in 2014. Sales proceeds (only for feed-in tariff quantities) amounted to EUR 1,627,997,803.78 in 2014, down from EUR 2,061,389,952.74 in 2013.

2,492 GWh of renewable power were fed into the grids in December 2014 that had to be sold by the transmission system operators (TSOs) at the EPEX Spot power exchange, less than a year before (December 2013: 3,378 GWh), but more than the 2,433 GWh in November 2014. These numbers do not include renewable power sold by the operators themselves for which they claimed additional market premiums pursuant to the EEG, a possibility provided on a voluntary basis already under the previous EEG 2012, which has become mandatory for most newly commissioned plants with the entry into force of the EEG 2014 (for more information on so-called direct marketing, please see here [3]).

Total renewable input marketed by the TSOs amounted to 51,230 GWh in 2014, down from 57,800 GWh in 2013. According to BDEW preliminary figures [4] released at the end of December, 157.4 TWh of green power were generated in Germany in 2014. The average price obtained by the TSOs at the power exchange was EUR 30.20/MWh in December 2014 (January EUR 38.20/MWh, February EUR 35.64/MWh, March EUR 27.07/MWh, April EUR 33.05/MWh, May EUR 28.31/MWh, June EUR 32.54/MWh, July EUR 34.47/MWh, August EUR 25.72/MWh, September EUR 34.50/MWh, October EUR 38.27/MW, November EUR 33.99/MWh).

Under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) renewable power input into the German grids is supported by transfer payments such as direct marketing premiums paid in addition to the revenue obtained by the sale of renewable energy that is effected by renewable power plant operator themselves (the general rule, see Section 2 para. 2 EEG) and feed-in tariffs for electricity fed into the grids and sold by the TSOs (in case of smaller plants and special cases, see Sections 37, 38 EEG). The so-called EEG account balances the expenses for renewable transfer payments to renewable power plant operators against the revenue obtained from the sale of renewable energy at the EPEX Spot power exchange by the TSOs and the so-called EEG surcharge, which electricity consumers have to pay in support of the EEG transfer payments. In 2015 the EEG surcharge amounts to 6.17 ct/kWh, a first slight decrease after years of often sharp rises.

Source: www.netztransparenz.de [5]

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