Germany

Germany

More change to come

Reform of support system for renewables under discussion

Operators of new plants will have to directly market the electricity they generate
Operators of new plants will have to directly market the electricity they generate

Renewable energy in Germany is promoted through feed-in tariffs, regulated under the Renewable Energies Act. Depending on the energy source, producers of renewable energy are granted a fixed tariff for each kilowatt hour of electricity generated over a period of 20 years. Electricity consumers pay for the tariffs.

In 2012, measures were introduced to promote demand-oriented production of renewable energy. Nevertheless, calls for a revision of the feed-in tariff system are growing ever louder. On 14 February the German environment and economic affairs ministers presented a joint proposal for cost containment. This envisages a cap on the costs consumers have to bear in relation to the Renewable Energies Act.

The proposal provides for a reduction of feed-in tariffs for new and, to a lesser extent, existing renewable-energy plants. Also, operators of new plants will have to directly market the electricity they generate (see page 5).

The measures should come into force on 1 August, just weeks before parliamentary elections on 22 September. The federal government and the German states (Länder) are currently negotiating a compromise on the proposal, which should be finalised by 21 March.

In the long term, the German feed-in tariff system is certain to be fundamentally revised, as a large number of political and economic stakeholders agree that this needs to happen.

One of the suggestions is to move towards a quota system based on green certificates trading, along the lines of the system already operating in Sweden and Norway.

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