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13 Nov 2020, 14:53
Kerstine Appunn

German states and federal government clash over renewables law reform

pv magazine / Clean Energy Wire

The German government this week rejected a range of changes to the draft reform of the Renewable Energy Act (EEG), which had been proposed by the the Bundesrat, Germany’s upper house of parliament representing its 16 states, Sandra Enkhardt reports for PV-magazine. The states had said the bill introduced new obstacles to renewables growth, and didn’t give enough impetus for innovation or for achieving climate targets. The Bundesrat had suggested raising expansion targets for renewable energies, onshore wind and solar PV in particular, saying the estimates for 2030 electricity demand in the energy ministry’s version of the bill were too low.

In its reply, the government said power demand estimates and therefore renewables expansion targets would be adjusted in the future if necessary, rejecting most of the Bundesrat’s proposals. "In many places, the states are proposing higher remuneration for renewable energies which, in the view of the federal government, are not necessary to achieve the desired expansion," they wrote. The government wants to avoid a higher burden on the federal budget or, in the medium term, higher burdens on electricity consumers through the renewables surcharge, Enkhardt reports. Simone Peter, head of renewable energy industry organisation BEE expressed her hope that unlike the government, parliament will be more open to following the states’ suggested changes.

The legislative process for the EEG 2021 is in its last stages. Changes to the law, which was credited with Germany’s high renewables expansion since 2001, will be debated in a parliamentary committee next week, and parliament will vote on it before the end of November, followed by the Bundesrat. The government wants the law to enter into force on 1 January 2021.

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