Germany: Consensus for fundamental EEG reform


"This year, renewables will overtake nuclear power for the first time in Germany," stated Environment Minister, Peter Altmaier after the energy summit at the Chancellery. As a result, demands on network integration increased.

Altmaier added that there was a broad consensus between representatives of the government and associations on the need to reform the EEG. At the same time, he again defended his and Economics Minister Philipp Rösler’s proposed electricity price brake.

Currently, this point is in a vote between federal and state governments. Clarity should be provided by the end of this month. Then it remains to be seen if the EEG changes can be implemented before the general election this autumn, added Altmaier.

In addition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, several ministers including Rösler, and numerous representatives of environmental and business organizations were present at the meeting.

Merkel stated that the time for energy transition is short. All sides agreed on joint working structures. A central point here is the different platforms on various topics like grid development, renewable energy, power plants and energy efficiency.

There will be a dialogue between ministries and stakeholders, said Merkel. In the future, she added, there should be an annual control meeting at the chancellery. A biannual meeting was also planned for the coordination between the Federal Government and the State Ministers on sustainable energy.

A meeting between the German Chancellor and the 16 State Ministers on this issue is scheduled for the end of March. In addition, a monitoring report will be available to inform on the progress made.

Network cost exemption for companies void

On Wednesday, judges at the High Court of Düsseldorf decided that the exemption of energy-intensive companies from grid costs is void, and abolished the Implementation Regulations of the Federal Network Agency.

Confirming the decision, presiding judge, Wiegand Laubenstein said that the Energy Act is not an adequate legal authority for the exemption of network charges. The total exemption, he added, is contrary to the principle of equality. Five regional and national grid operators had attacked the network exemption for energy intensive companies.

Translated by Becky Beetz.