Solaranlage, Windräder und Strommasten zum Thema Energiewende

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The Bundestag is holding the second and third readings of the Omnibus Energy Act today.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier said: “By adopting the Omnibus Energy Act, we are rolling out a further measure contained in the coalition agreement and are progressing the expansion of renewable energy in a cost-efficient and market-oriented manner that is synchronised with the grid. We are ensuring that excessive burdens are not placed on residential consumers or industry. Also, our act to accelerate the expansion of the grid will be presented to the cabinet in the near future. Taken together, the act to accelerate the expansion of the grid and the Omnibus Energy Act are very important, because we shall be phasing out nuclear energy in 2022 and are currently developing a plan to phase out coal-fired power generation.”

Also, a working group is being set up to develop ways to increase the level of public acceptance, as the energy transition will only be successful if all the stakeholders are on board. The Act operationalises the special auctions agreed in the coalition agreement for onshore wind and solar energy. From 2019-2021, the volumes currently scheduled for auction will be topped up by 4 GW for both onshore wind and solar. This will make a key contribution to reaching the national climate targets. Also, technology-neutral innovation auctions will be held from 2019-2021. These will try out new procedures to incentivise projects to make our grid more stable (projects to serve the grid and the system).

In order to boost public acceptance, we are introducing needs-oriented night-lighting of wind turbines, thus putting an end to the constant blinking throughout the night. In future, wind turbines will only blink when an aircraft is actually in the vicinity.

Also, the draft Act implements a host of European rules, including the following:

  • Rules on the EEG surcharge for new CHP installations: Implementation of the compromise made with the European Commission on state aid. The new rules will ensure that 98% of installations regain the exemptions they enjoyed until the end of 2017 (i.e. only paying 40% of the EEG surcharge). In the case of approximately 200 installations, the surcharge will rise gradually in line with profitability. The new rules will be backdated to 1 January 2018.
  • Extension of the Combined Heat and Power Act (CHP Act) by three years until 2025. This is to improve the basis for investment in new CHP installations. This extension is still subject to authorisation by the European Commission in accordance with state aid rules.
  • Reduction in funding for new 40-750 kW solar installations: The costs of solar installations have fallen more sharply in recent years than the funding rates under the Renewable Energy Sources Act. This has resulted in substantial over-funding at the expense of all consumers. This over-funding must be reduced in line with European rules. No changes are made to the rules governing installations below 40 kW, meaning that the residential market is not affected.
  • Forwarded volumes of electricity: The possibility to estimate volumes of electricity forwarded to third parties is being introduced. The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control has already announced this in a leaflet on electricity meters and the special equalisation scheme. This ensures that the companies affected will retain their exemptions from the EEG surcharge.
  • Funding made possible for modernisations of larger-scale CHP installations: A few minor changes are need to the definition of “installation” under state aid rules in order to make funding available for the modernisation of large CHP installations.
  • Network code (Requirements for Generators): A transitional regulation is put in place for installations purchased from now on. This makes sure that these installations do not need to be retrofitted and re-certified in April 2019 to meet the new standard which will then be in force.
  • The capacity reserve, which is to guarantee security of supply, will be brought into line with the provisions of the approval issued under state-aid rules and will now come into effect on 1 October 2020.