Jul 24, 2014 - The European Commission (EC) approved on Wednesday the reform in Germany's Renewable Energy Act (EEG), clearing the way for the new legislation to enter into force on August 1, the economy and energy ministry said yesterday.
The German government and the EC reached an agreement in their dispute over the EEG reform and its compatibility with state aid guidelines on July 9. Under the settlement, 350 of the more than 2,000 energy-intensive companies in Germany, which have been exempted from the EEG levy, will have to make payments at the amount of EUR 30 million (USD 40.4m) to cover previous discounts.
The reform in the EEG includes the mandatory conversion to direct marketing for all green energy sources by 2017. Thus, the selling prices for renewable electricity will be determined by tenders in the future. This model will first apply for ground-mounted solar power plants as of 2015.
Under the settlement with the EC, Germany has also agreed to allow green power producers from abroad participate in tenders for 5% of the planned renewable energy capacity. In addition, new green power systems used for own consumption will pay the EEG levy as part of the reform. The amendment also includes the controversial clause with which the German provinces get the right to increase the mandatory distance between wind turbines and residential areas.
According to Germany's energy minister Sigmar Gabriel, the reform represents the most far-reaching change to the EEG since its creation.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.346)
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