Industry proposes changes to renewables act to avoid levy payments – media
Industry actors in Germany have proposed changes to the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) that would help them avoid possible lawsuits over failures to pay the renewables surcharge, writes Frank Dohmen in magazine Der Spiegel. Since 2000, companies that produce electricity with their own power plants have been exempt from paying the surcharge under certain conditions. Der Spiegel reports that around 300 companies in Germany make use of this exemption. Transmission system operators and the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA), however, have asked a law firm to examine whether the rules have been applied correctly. In around 50 cases there are doubts. A proposal for changes to the EEG drafted by legal advisors of the industry would avert legal action for cases pre-2018 and could protect companies from back payments in the billion-euro range.
The renewables surcharge is added to consumer (industry and household) power bills and provides the financial means with which electricity from wind, solar, biomass, hydro, and geothermal facilities is remunerated. To avoid that German companies are disadvantaged in international competition, some businesses are partly or fully exempt, such as especially energy-intensive industries.