Germany: Altmaier presents concept for short-term EEG changes

Peter Altmaier has presented a new policy paper. The concept of electricity price protection should ensure that the EEG (German renewable energy law) levy will not climb by more than 2.5% until the end of 2014 and thereafter.

According to the will of Altmaier, the changes will be presented before Germany’s parliamentary recess this coming summer, and come into play on August 1.

The paper states that feed-in tariffs for new photovoltaic and wind plants should not be paid immediately after their commissioning, but rather only if the EEG account is balanced.

Meanwhile, operators of existing facilities should also be involved in the cost of the EEG surcharge, via a so-called "energy solidarity". This implies that they should, for a certain period of time, waive feed-in tariff payments for photovoltaic and wind plants.

Altmaier also wants operators to regulate their own consumption. People who supply themselves with electricity should therefore continue to make a contribution to the EEG levy.

He further wants to impose a limit on the exemptions for energy intensive businesses, by increasing the minimum contribution, since the introduction of the EEG has not been adjusted.

In addition to the short-term changes, Altmaier is still planning a comprehensive reform of the EEG. This, says the minister, cannot be implemented before the elections this autumn, however.

Translated by Becky Beetz.