Almost 2,000 businesses to be largely exempt from renewables levy in 2018
In 2018, a total of 1,908 German businesses at 2,421 locations will be largely exempt from having to pay the country’s renewables levy (EEG surcharge) on electricity, writes the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bafa), which is in charge of the approval process. According to the energy industry, the value of exemption amounted to about 6.5 billion euros, or one fourth of the annual EEG payments, writes Andreas Mihm in an article for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Businesses have applied for a total of 114 terawatt hours to be exempted, which equalled around 20 percent of the country’s total power consumption in 2016. Energy intensive businesses with high electricity costs are exempt from up to 90 percent of the renewables levy to ensure their competitiveness in the international markets. The remaining power consumers – private households, small and less energy intensive businesses, and public buildings – thus have to bear a proportionately larger share of the EEG costs. Rail companies lead the list of exempted companies in terms of power consumed, followed by synthetic material producers, paper producers, and aluminium makers. More than a third of exempted companies are located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany’s economic power house.
For background, read the CLEW factsheet Balancing the books: Germany's "green energy account", and the CLEW dossier The reform of the Renewable Energy Act.