Germany's EEG account: TSO forecast already missed by several billion Euro

In August, there was once again a major mismatch between the remuneration payments for plants receiving support under the German Renewable Energy Law (EEG) on the one hand and the revenue from trading the electricity generated by these plants on the other. As a result, the EEG account managed by the transmission system operators (TSO) shows a monthly shortfall of €1.854 billion ($1.976 billion).
However, the account still has a high credit balance of €6.496 billion ($6.923 billion) as of August 31 and is therefore not expected to require support payments for several months. Now that the »EEG levy« has no longer been charged on electricity bills since July 2022 and the account's previous main source of revenue is therefore missing, shortfalls are being made up from the German government's »Energy and Climate Fund,« mainly from emissions trading revenue. In 2020 and 2021, the EEG account had already received a total of €10.8 billion ($11.5 billion), at that time to limit the EEG levy. Since then, no further payments have been required because the enormous rise in electricity prices had in the meantime also generated very high revenues from trading in EEG electricity. This effect no longer exists; the last time the EEG account had a positive monthly balance was in August 2022. Since then, a minus of € 10.942 billion ($11.643 billion) has arisen within twelve months.
In October last year, the four TSOs had still issued a forecast according to which they expected revenues of €13.1 billion and expenses of €9.4 billion for the EEG account in 2023.In fact, however, by the end of August the revenues had only amounted to €3.6 billion, but the expenses had already reached €12.159 billion. The fact that expenses also turned out completely different than expected is mainly due to the German »direct marketing« system that applies to plants with a capacity of 100 kilowatts or more: Their electricity yields are not marketed via the EEG account, so no revenue accrues to it. However, differences between the legally guaranteed renumeration and the marketing revenues are compensated by payments from the account. Lower electricity prices have also led to lower revenues and correspondingly higher compensation payments in direct marketing. In 2021 and 2022, on the other hand, direct marketing had hardly burdened the account. However, it was also not possible to build up a buffer because plant operators did not have to transfer the additional revenue they generated at the time, which was many times higher than the legally guaranteed renumeration.

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