Electricity 2030

© istockphoto.com/NI QIN

Every year in mid-October, the rate of the renewables surcharge (which is also known as EEG surcharge) that will apply in Germany in the coming year is announced by the transmission system operators. The rate is set based on expert forecasts, and the calculation procedure is overseen by the Bundesnetzagentur. The renewables surcharge for 2017 was 6.88 cents/kWh.

Said Minister Zypries: “The reforms we have carried out over the past few years have kept our electricity prices stable. The average household is paying roughly the same in electricity bills as they did in 2014. This is despite the fact that the share of renewables in our electricity system has risen quite considerably. This shows that we have stopped the cost increase associated with the rise in renewables capacity. It’s good news, but additional work is required.“

2018 renewables surcharge

The transmission system operators are expecting that another 8,000 MW of renewables capacity will be added in 2018. This will increase the total amount of electricity from renewables to 204 terawatt hours.

As in the previous years, the 2018 renewables surcharge will include a liquidity reserve to ringfence the budget against negative account balances and liquidity risks. This reserve has been kept stable at 6 per cent.

Slight decrease in the renewables surcharge

Germany will continue to add renewables capacity in 2018, especially new offshore and onshore wind installations. This process is associated with rising costs. However, the resulting increase in the renewables surcharge will be compensated by the projected rise in wholesale electricity prices and by positive developments in the EEG account. Altogether, this has led to a slight drop in the renewables surcharge.

Surcharge and electricity prices remain stable – despite record levels of renewables capacity being added

The reforms undertaken over the past four years have made it possible to keep both the renewables surcharge and our electricity prices stable. At the beginning of the last parliament, i.e. in 2014, the average price of electricity paid by a household using 3,500 kWh per year was 29.14 cents/kWh. The comparative figure for 2017 is 29.23 cents/kWh. The minimal increase recorded (0.09 cents/kWh) is well below the general inflation rate.

This is despite the fact that the share of renewables in our overall electricity consumption has been growing faster than ever. Renewables accounted for 25 per cent of our power supply in 2013. By mid-2017, this figure had risen to 35 per cent (according to preliminary data). This increase by 10 percentage points is the largest to be recorded by any German government since the introduction of the Renewable Energy Sources Act.

Further information can be found here (in german) (PDF, 347KB).