Pôles et de l'industrie électrique relatives aux charges interruptibles ; source : Fotolia.com/Creativemarc

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The cabinet has adopted the draft Ordinance on Interruptible Loads presented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy. This represents a clear step forward from the previous rules on the purchase and use of interruptible loads. In particular, the purchasing process is to be made more competitive. In future, the provision of interruptible loads is to be auctioned on a weekly basis. Major consumers of electricity, e.g. industrial companies, which can reduce their consumption when required and thus make a contribution towards the security of the grid and the tackling of problems in the grid, are known as "interruptible loads".

Further to this, two further energy/industrial policy projects were adopted; these chiefly serve to implement EU law. These are the amendment of the Ordinance on Energy Consumption Labelling and the Amending Ordinance on Mining Regulations in the Area of Coastal Waters and the Continental Shelf.

On the basis of the EU Energy Consumption Labelling Directive, the European Commission has extended the obligations relating to the EU energy label (i.e. introduced fines for suppliers and retailers) to cover new product groups. These include ventilation equipment, commercial refrigeration equipment, solid fuel boilers and singleroom heaters. The changes to the Ordinance on Energy Consumption Labelling create the legal basis for implementation by the Länder.

The Amending Ordinance on Mining Regulations in the Area of Coastal Waters and the Continental Shelf makes drilling platforms safer and improves environmental protection and the working conditions in oil and gas extraction. Core elements include aspects of risk management to prevent serious accidents and questions of licensing and public participation in the exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the area of Germany's coastal waters and Exclusive Economic Zone.

The ordinance implements major sections of the EU Offshore Directive (2013/30/EU) in German law and supplements the existing national rules, e.g. with rules on better cooperation between the authorities of the Member States and with the Commission, stricter obligations on financial provision for damages, and more detailed reporting requirements for the offshore oil and gas industry.