The Renewable Energy Sources Act built a platform for the expansion of renewables, enabling them to emerge from a niche to become one of the mainstays of Germany’s power supply, generating more than 30 per cent of our electricity. This law had the aim of enabling young technologies such as wind and solar energy to enter the market with support provided by fixed tariffs and a purchase guarantee. However, the rapid expansion also resulted in a rise in costs – particularly of the surcharge imposed under the Renewable Energy Sources Act ('EEG surcharge').
2014 revision of the Renewable Energy Sources Act: an important step for re-booting Germany's energy transition
The revision of the Renewable Energy Sources Act in 2014 was therefore an important step towards ensuring the continued success of Germany's energy transition. The revision particularly aimed to substantially slow any further rise in costs, to systematically steer the expansion of renewable energy, and to bring renewable energy more and more to the market. It is clear that the price of electricity is a major factor in their level of competitiveness, particularly for energy-intensive industries facing international competition. These companies are covered by the special equalisation scheme, which permits exceptions from the electricity price under certain conditions.
Expanding the use of renewable energy cheaply
The design of the auctions for the newbuild of ground-mounted PV installations has also been made as easy to understand and as transparent as possible in order to deliver a high level of stakeholder diversity. In order to attain the expansion targets for renewables in a low-cost way and to gather experience, the pilot auctions for ground-mounted PV installations have been launched, and are also targeted at citizens' energy projects and energy cooperatives. .