German renewable energy producers received record payout through surcharge
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
Producers of energy from wind, solar, biomass and hydro power installations received more payouts by way of the German renewables energy surcharge (EEG) in 2019 than in any previous year, totalling 27.5 billion euros, writes the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung citing the latest data from the country's network operators. This amount was three percent higher than in 2018. Despite this, German power consumers paid less for renewable energy via the EEG surcharge than in the previous year. Network operators experienced a seven percent drop in annual levy revenues compared to 2018, with 22.8 billion euros in 2019. The German government had aimed to ease the burden on consumers, who pay for the EEG surcharge with their electricity bill by reducing the surplus on the EEG account, which fell by more than 50 percent over the course of the year to around two billion euros.
The EEG-surcharge rises by about five percent to 6.756 cents per kilowatt hour (ct/kWh) in 2020. This could be its last increase as the government has promised to help lower the surcharge from 2021 using money earned through the new CO2 price in the buildings and transport sector. “An economy minister cannot be happy about a rising EEG surcharge,” said Peter Altmaier at the time. However, the reforms of German renewables support away from set feed-in tariffs to auctions “have made expansion of renewable energy much cheaper,” he added.