Federal Network Agency / FAZ
The Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) will lower the equity interest rates for operators of power grids and gas networks from 9.05 to 6.91 percent for new, and from 7.14 to 5.12 percent for old facilities. The lower rates - to be applied in 2018 for gas and in 2019 for power grid operators - "mirror low interest rates on the capital markets”, and investments in the grids continued to be attractive, said BNetzA president Jochen Homann. The move was a surprise in light of massive protests against such plans from private energy companies, as well as local utilities and trade union Verdi, writes Helmut Bünder in an article in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).
The new rates would “make the distribution grid expansion significantly more difficult”, Katherina Reiche, managing director of the municipal utility association VKU, said in a press release. Robert Busch, managing director of the Association of Energy Market Innovators (bne), welcomed BNetzA’s announcement. He said “the decision brings relief for the energy consumers” as they paid for the interest rates through the grid fees.