11 Feb 2022, 14:29
Benjamin Wehrmann

Ending renewables levy early might not cost German treasury extra money in 2022 – media

Der Spiegel

The planned end of Germany’s renewables levy will not become a burden on the country’s budget this year, news magazine Der Spiegel reports. The country’s so-called EEG account, which collects the money German consumers pay to fund energy the transition through a surcharge on their power bill, showed a surplus of over 12 billion euros in late January. This covers almost all the expected cost of supporting renewable power installations in 2022, according to the latest figures from the country’s grid operators. How much money operators of renewable power installations receive from the account to reach their guaranteed level of remuneration partly depends on the wholesale power price, with higher prices meaning less support is needed. Support can therefore also drop to zero if power prices are high enough. Due to the current high prices, the EEG account grew by 2 billion euros in January, even though the renewables surcharge was halved from 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour to 3.7 cents at the beginning of the year. The new government wants to replace the surcharge with funding from the state climate and energy fund, possibly by 1 July, to help households and businesses struggling with the energy price hike. “Thanks to the surplus on the EEG account, the state will be doing just fine with that” and probably will not have to provide additional funding this year, the article says. According to energy consultant Ralf Bischoff, finance minister Christian Lindner may not need to pay a single euro in additional funds in 2022 after the levy has been abandoned.

The funding of its ambitious climate action plans is one of the great challenges for Germany’s new government. The finance ministry’s challenge to provide enough money without relying on excessive borrowing is compounded by promises to not raise taxes and aggravate power customers’ financial situation amid the current energy price hike.

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