Climate protection targets to be included in German energy law, first reading of legislative changes to renewables

The goal of carbon neutrality in 2045 is to be included in the Energy Industry Act (Energiewirtschaftsgesetz; EnWG) – the most important legal basis for the German energy sector. This is provided for in a draft bill by the German government, which will be discussed in its first reading in the Bundestag on Thursday (May 12). Important points of the draft also relate to the expansion of the electricity grid, for example to enable the transport of large amounts of wind power from the north to the south and west of the country, which the government believes will be necessary in the future. Likewise, grid expansion measures are to be accelerated with a view to sector coupling, in particular electromobility and the associated charging infrastructure, as well as the electrification of the heating sector.
Also up for first reading in the Bundestag on May, 12 is a draft that is primarily intended to bring about changes to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz; EEG). A large part of it is to apply from January 2023, but much of it will also apply immediately after promulgation; the German government is aiming for July 1 of this year for this. In addition to increased volumes and changes in the framework conditions for tenders, changes in the remuneration structure are particularly relevant for photovoltaics.
The feed-in-tariff for solar power is to be fixed at the level applicable in April of this year and will not be reduced until the beginning of 2024 – and thereafter at a much more moderate rate than under the previous procedure. Another important change relates to rooftop systems up to 300 kilowatts, the yield of which is fed into the grid in its entirety: In the future, they will be subject to significantly higher tariffs than systems whose yield is also used for self-consumption and which have therefore been far more profitable than systems with full feed-in due to the high German electricity prices. In this way, the government wants to ensure that new plants, as large as possible, are also built by investors who can achieve no or only very low self-consumption.

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