Quota instead of priority? The future of the eeg

Desolidarization of the electricity market. Private end customers pay the highest electricity prices anyway, plus the full eeg surcharge plus the industry exemptions on top. But they are excluded from the reduction of peak electricity prices by renewables. Hans-josef fell proposes that these cost reductions be included in the calculation of the eeg surcharge and that exemptions be ended. Image: m. Brake

The energy and climate newsreel: and yet another dispute is on the horizon. This time it’s all about the big picture: the eeg is to be abolished

Its operating principles: decentralized energy supply, participation of many players, feed-in priority, guaranteed purchase of the generated electricity and economic compensation are a thorn in the side of its opponents. Instead, the market apologists have been drumming for the abolition of the eeg for several weeks, preparing for the decision that is to be made in october.

Quota instead of priority? The future of the eeg

Remunerative models in europe. Grun=feed-in tariff, yellow=quota models, certificates and hybrids. Poland switches to feed-in tariff in 2013. In germany, the motherland of the renewable energy sources act (eeg), the discussion about a possible phase-out of the feed-in tariff enters its hot phase in october. Picture: m. Brake

More successful than allowed

As a replacement, they demand quota models that have already failed in other countries. However, that doesn’t seem to matter, because the new proposals are primarily intended to preserve the existing distribution structures and make small re operators dependent again on the contract terms of the coarse utilities and the eco-electricity quotas set by politicians. What is touted as a market economy turns out to be a planned economy and a new centralism.

There is indeed a need to enable the integration of more and more renewably generated electricity into the grid, but in a different way than by simply obstructing. The introduction of the eeg in 2000 led to an exemplary boom in renewable energies, which now account for around 22 percent of electricity generation in germany. The concept has also been adopted worldwide and has been introduced in 61 countries so far. Already in the first catch of the new eeg was anchored that the law will be reviewed and adjusted in regular intervals. But it is only under the current coalition that the world’s most successful regulation for the expansion of renewables is apparently to be abolished altogether.

The call for a new regulation is primarily based on the strong expansion, in particular of electricity generation from solar radiation energy and the associated increase in the eeg levy. However, it has become too obvious in the current discussion that it is primarily about backward-looking patronage politics.

Disintegration of solidarity via the energy price

Thus already in the eeg exemptions were inserted, after which certain industries with a minimum vergutung could exempt itself. The railroad is such an example of a company, which likes to advertise that it also uses a share of green electricity, but pays a flat rate of only 0.05 ct/kwh levy, instead of the current 3.56 ct as end customers. In addition, a run on liberations has just begun. A small inquiry by the grunen parliamentary group in the bundestag revealed that by the end of june 2012, 2023 companies had already submitted a corresponding application, compared with only 813 in the entire previous year. The desolidarization is thus further promoted via the energy price.

In addition, the paper does not take into account how renewable energy production is structured, i.E. It is primarily decentralized. Most solar installations, for example, are small installations on the low-voltage grid. Now there are calls for the successor to the eeg to be a "market and system integration" the aim is to bring renewable energies into the grid, to make energy suppliers meet quotas and to purchase the corresponding quantities of eco-electricity, and. Produce yourself. It is obvious that this would be an immense bureaucratization with many decentralized small plants, blob to replace the feed-in priority of the previous eeg due to ideological reservations.

And it would probably have to do with a move away from decentralized energy supply with all its well-known advantages (u.A. The rapid, flat-covering expansion and lower demand for grid expansion). Half of all installed pv systems are between 10 and 100 kwp, for these decentralized systems there is no power supply and without feed-through there is also no power supply "market".

Eon ceo johannes teyssen commented on the intervention game some time ago like this: "the eeg is the area of despair of the german energy policy. Constantly corrections are necessary, whose side effects make again new corrections necessary – an endless intervention spiral".

Market model as exit scenario

Rainer bruderle announced the plans of his parliamentary group: a moratorium is to be imposed if the expansion of solar and wind energy cannot be slowed down in any other way. For the time being, however, this is to apply only to onshore solar and wind power, not to the government’s offshore plans.

Saxony’s minister of economic affairs, sven morlock, is calling, in line with his party, for electricity suppliers to be required to demonstrate a basic electricity quota instead of purchasing the regenerative electricity produced. This is to be introduced in 2015 and gradually increased in line with the federal government’s targets.

The expansion targets of the federal government provide for the following shares of renewable energies in gross electricity consumption in the next few years:

  • 2020: 35 percent
  • 2030: 50 percent
  • 2040: 65 percent
  • 2050: 80 percent

This looks good at first and seems realistic at the current pace of expansion, but there really should be a switch to ten-year plans and the "initiative" of the energy suppliers, it is foreseeable that the expansion will quickly come to a standstill. Just as farms can already be exempted from the eeg levy, politicians quickly introduced exemptions from the expansion targets, as with the kerosene tax, the clean development mechanism (cdm) in the kyoto protocol, the movenpick tax, and so on.

The initiative neue soziale marktwirtschaft (insm), lobbying institute of various business associations, just presented its commissioned study "market-based energy transition" and puts forward theses against the eeg:

  1. The eeg threatened grid stability;
  2. The expansion of renewable energies damaged the trading model of emissions trading, emissions were only shifted to other sectors;
  3. Even a further reduction in compensation rates could not slow down the rise in electricity costs;
  4. Renewable technologies were on a drip and could not compete in the market without a demand.

That is why a "market-based regulatory framework to be installed". Energy suppliers should be obliged to either generate a certain proportion of their electricity supplied to end consumers from renewable sources themselves and to prove this by a corresponding quantity of certificates, or to acquire the required quantity of certificates from other suppliers of green electricity. The insm is calling for a change in this direction as early as next year. From january 2013, with a forecast 25 % share of eco-electricity, there will be a radical reduction in renewables from then on. For the years 2013 to 2016, an increase of only 0.5 percent per year is to be permitted. So instead of a market model, it’s about an exit model.

The mar of the expensive okostrom

The extent to which the insm is fabricating here is shown by the latest report from the federal network agency, which refutes the myth that an increase in fluctuating renewable energies in the grid would endanger grid stability. On the contrary, the quality of supply is obviously extraordinarily high with renewables in the grid. The average interruption of supply per connected end consumer, the so-called saidi value, was only 15.31 minutes in 2011. This value is below the average value of 17.44 minutes for the period from 2006 to 2010. 2011 was also the year with the highest number of new photovoltaic installations to date.

And already, the government’s intervention in favor of offshore is proving to be the current cost driver not only in terms of pure electricity generation costs, but also in terms of the expensive and exclusive grid connection, the costs of which have just been socialized. Onshore wind power plant operators, on the other hand, receive only about half as much compensation as offshore operators, pay for the grid connection themselves, and cannot pass on the liability for transmission problems in the grid connection line to the electricity consumers. Axel berg from eurosolar therefore describes the claim of the new environment minister that he wants to "keeping the costs of the energy transition under control" as cynical.

Quota instead of priority? The future of the eeg

If you compare the much-maligned eeg surcharge with the subsidies that coal and nuclear power have received and are receiving, the picture becomes relative. Image: m. Brake

Special tax on solar plants and wind turbines

Moratorium plans go even further, however. Because only additional plants are concerned, operators of existing solar plants and wind turbines should be charged with a special tax. This is supposed to create an incentive for the plant operators to buy "in line with the market" too restrained. With the tax then "national special fund for the energy turnaround" to pay for the expansion of the grid and the use of storage facilities. But storage and grid expansion for whom? For the electricity giants, the offshore plants? The vdi had just calculated and came to the conclusion that up to 40% share of eco-electricity no new storage facilities are necessary.

Even the supporters of the eeg are aware that the integration of more and more eco-electricity into the grid needs to be planned. Even they still seem to be surprised by the success of the eeg. For the discussion in october, eurosolar announced a concept for a redesign of the renewable energy sources act, with which a "economically sensible" decentralized energy transition could be designed. Hans-josef fell of bundnis 90/die grunen points out that an intelligent generation and load management system is needed on the way to the 100% target, in order to shift excess pv electricity from midday to the evening consumption time. The solar energy demand association germany (sfv) sets thereby on a demand of the small storage technology directly at the pv plants, in order to make thereby an extension of the net unnecessary.

In addition, according to the greens, the increase in the eeg levy must be slowed down by the elimination of unnecessary cost factors, such as the lignite requirement and the exemption of industrial sectors.B. In the lignite requirement and exemption of industrial sectors must be slowed down. The market premium should also be abolished again, because it does not create market integration, but only windfall profits. And the calculation of the eeg levy must include the cost-reducing effect of pv and wind in the future. Finally, the german society for solar energy (dgs) appeals that despite the reduction in compensation and increasing price prere, no cheap solutions should be installed, because only technically high-quality solar systems will enable further expansion and interaction with other power generators in the future. So the engineers could already regulate it and best of all without political interventionism.

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