Germany's green energy account slips into the red as power prices tumble
Clean Energy Wire / Energate Messenger
Germany's green energy fund has slipped into the red for the first time since 2013, data compiled by the country's transmission grid operators shows. The account, which finances the expansion of renewable energy sources and is filled by consumers through a surcharge on their power bill, fell from about two billion euros in available funds to minus 1.16 billion euros in the first six months of 2020. This means the funding mechanism for wind turbines, solar farms and other renewables has consumed more than three billion euros in six months during a time in which the share of renewables in the country's power mix reached new record levels. Analysts warned earlier this year that the balance on Germany's green energy account looked set to fall significantly due to the coronavirus crisis's dampening effects on power prices, which means that operators require a greater share in support payments in order to achieve their guaranteed remuneration for renewable power production.
Energy market magazine Energate Messenger said the green energy account slipping into the red is "bad news" for the government, as it has already greenlighted a reduction of the renewables levy for power consumers next year from 6.7 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 6.5 ct/kWh and a drop to 6 ct/kWh in 2022. It plans to compensate the drop in income with earnings from the country's forthcoming carbon pricing scheme in the transport and heating sectors. "Given the latest developments, it's unclear whether the funds generated this way will suffice," Energate said.