Berlin (dpa) – The black-red coalition has agreed on billions to alleviate electricity prices for consumers.
In addition, the green electricity surcharge will be stabilized with funds from the federal budget in 2023 and 2024, the negotiators of the Union and the SPD announced on Thursday. Additional tender volumes for onshore wind and solar photovoltaic energy were also agreed for 2022.
The EEG-surcharge is an essential part of the electricity bill. To ensure that the surcharge under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) does not increase drastically, the federal government had stabilized the surcharge for the years 2021 and 2022 with billions of taxpayers’ money from the budget. The surcharge is 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour in 2021 and 6 cents in 2022.
In the years that followed, it would be possible to reduce the surcharge to less than 5 cents per kilowatt hour, according to a newspaper available at the German news agency. For this, income from the national emission trade for heat and transport and money not drawn from the energy and climate fund is used. The goal is to unburden citizens and companies. The economy in particular is complaining about the high electricity prices in Germany compared to other EU countries.
According to an initial calculation by the consumer portal Check24, a reduction of the EEG-surcharge to 5 cents for a family with a consumption of 5000 kilowatt hours would mean a relief of about 89 euros per year compared to today, for a single person it would mean relief of about 27 euro.
The coalition agreement also stipulates that additional procurement volumes must be issued in 2022 for onshore wind energy of 1.1 gigawatts and for photovoltaic solar energy of 4.1 gigawatts. In addition, the approval procedures in the Federal Immission Control Act should be simplified.
In particular, the expansion of onshore wind turbines had come to a standstill. The industry sees lengthy approval processes, lack of space and many lawsuits as the main reasons.
In the course of the EEG amendment passed in late 2020, the coalition agreed to define a further expansion path for renewables in the first quarter of 2021. However, there were delays in the negotiations. The coalition was also unable to agree on fundamentally higher expansion targets for green electricity. So far, the target is a 65 percent share of green electricity by 2030. Last year, renewable energy had a 46 percent share of electricity consumption, according to industry information.
The question is whether the current target for 2030 is sufficient. The last nuclear power plant in Germany will go offline in 2022 and the coal phase-out is planned by 2038 at the latest. In addition, many experts believe that significantly more green electricity will be needed in the coming years, for example for electromobility and green hydrogen.
Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) called the further reduction of the EEG-surcharge good news for consumers, but also for the systematic ecological switch. “This is because climate-friendly alternatives such as electric cars and heat pumps are becoming cheaper and cheaper.” The new expansion goals for 2022 are an important first step, but this should be followed by a significantly heightened expansion path for the rest of the decade.
The SPD parliamentary deputy, Matthias Miersch, said: “With regard to long-term provisions on the expansion paths and changes in construction law, opinions were too divergent.” Nevertheless, important impulses could be given in the near future for the further development of renewable energy sources.
Union Party Vice Carsten Linnemann (CDU) spoke of further important steps to promote the expansion of renewables while relieving private households and the economy. Economic Affairs Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) also said that in view of the EU’s agreement on a higher climate target for 2030, the issue of climate protection is gaining momentum. Vice-Ulrich Lange (CSU) of the Union’s group said it would ensure that consumers would no longer be taxed by stabilizing the EEG charge beyond 2022. The mobilization of additional areas around wind radio navigation systems is just as crucial.
The German Wind Energy Association spoke of an important signal for the industry. The new Brussels climate policy decisions have yet to be taken up. The Greens criticized that the coalition could only agree on a “minimum of necessary corrections”. The coalition is again falling far short of what is possible and necessary in the field of the energy transition. The head of the VKU municipal utility association, Ingbert Liebing, commented: “So these are good corrections for the near future. The big decisions are postponed until the next election period. “A continuous increase in expansion rates would be necessary.