Given the current German system of fixed feed-in tariffs for renewable energy, German EU Energy Commissionar Günther Oettinger sees the EEG reallocation charge moving towards 6 ct/kWh, the news agency Reuters reports. With the EEG surcharge, end consumers pay for the difference between the guaranteed feed-in tariffs and the sale of the renewable energy at the EEX energy exchange.
The current EEG surcharge for 2011 amounts to 3.53 Cent/kWh, a rise of 72% compared with the 2010 surcharge of 2.047 ct/kWh. In spring this year the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) reportedly believed the EEG reallocation charge for 2011 was too high, as not as much new PV capacity had been installed in 2010 as expected.
Yet speculation about an increase of the surcharge has been growing recently. It is based on the recent publication of data on the EEG account for August 2011 by the four German transmission system operators (TSO), who are required by law to sell the renewable energy at the energy exchange. Pursuant to Section 3 para. 2 Equalisation Scheme Ordinance (AusglMechV), the TSOs have to calculate and publish the EEG reallocation charge for the coming year by 15 October 2011.
In the past, especially high feed-in tariffs for PV energy led to the increase of the EEG surcharge. While tariffs for new PV installations have been repeatedly reduced (click here to view post on latest reduction), PV capacity, which receives guaranteed feed-in tariffs over a period of 20 years, meanwhile amounted to 19,038.569 MWp as of 30 June 2011.
The revised EEG that will enter into force on 1 January 2012 provides for a basic annual reduction on 1 January that is increased or lowered depending on the newly installed capacities in the preceding months. Besides, an additional reduction may apply as of 1 July of each year, if the installed capacities in the preceding months exceed certain thresholds (new Section 20a EEG 2012).
Feed-in tariffs, reductions (so-called degression rates) and additional bonuses have been amended in the EEG 2012 for some of the other renewable energy sources. In particular offshore wind power shall be promoted by higher tariffs in order to encourage investment and reach the government’s goal of an installed offshore capacity of 25,000 MW by 2030. This may also lead to an increase of the EEG reallocation charge.
According to Reuters, Mr Oettinger said Germany needed a “soft landing of the EEG” in the coming decade. He suggested again to harmonise the promotion of renewable energy in Europe, saying that solar power should be generated in Southern Europe and possibly North Africa, while wind power should be generated at the North Sea coasts, Reuters said. As Reuters pointed out, German Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen has rejected such proposals in the past.
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