Rösler: Commitment to compensation for electricity costs pays off
After difficult discussions and a lengthy procedure the European Commission on 22 May adopted rules on national support in connection with the third Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) period. The rules stipulate the conditions under which the European Commission may as from 2013 allow the Member States to compensate power-intensive companies for higher, emissions-trading-related electricity costs (compensation for electricity costs) and to provide support for the construction of new, highly efficient and flexible power plants (support for power plants).
Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Dr. Philipp Rösler said: "Our commitment pays off. The provisions on the compensation for electricity costs are now much more realistic than originally planned by the European Commission. It is particularly positive that the compensation will not be considerably reduced by either the deduction of the costs in the 2nd trading period or the introduction of a threshold. This means that the compensation is possible for the whole amount. We will now as soon as possible pass the national legislation to implement the rules on the compensation for electricity costs."
There are, however, also regrettable aspects. The preconditions stipulated by the European Commission on the support for power plants, for instance, are very restrictive, especially in terms of the very strict requirements regarding CCS readiness. The Act to transpose the CCS Directive into German law is being discussed by the Mediation Committee. Against this background, the German federal government will examine how to deal with the programme to provide support for power plants. The federal government, however, has already created instruments to provide short-term incentives for the construction of new power plants by raising the rates within the framework of the current amendment of the Act on combined heat and power generation (KWKG) and by adopting the low-interest support programme offered by KfW for investments of local public utilities in, among other things, new gas-fired power plants as from 1 June.