Policy framework: The Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG)
EEG amendment 2014
With the entry into force of the new EEG (Renewable Energy Sources Act)on 1 August 2014 the political framework for PV investments will change in several respects. This is particularly applicable to the realisation of photovoltaic systems - for self-consumption, net-metering projects and Direct sale of PV electricity (PPA) for commercial and industrial applications.
These are the key points for EEG amendment:
As of 1 August 2014, all new installations will be charged a pro rata EEG fee for electricity that operators produce and consume themselves. There will be an across-the-board charge of 40 percent of the respective EEG surcharge for all renewable energy electricity generation systems. Other fossil-fuel based autoproducers will be required to pay 100 percent of the EEG surcharge. This means that the differentiation between charges for manufacturing and non-manufacturing industry that has existed until now will no longer be applicable.
The full charge for all new systems commissioned after 1 August 2014 will be attained in three stages: 30 percent by the end of 2015, 35 percent by the end of 2016 and 40 percent of the EEG surcharge as of the year 2017. These reduced percentage rates are only applicable in those years. After 2017, systems commissioned in the years 2014 to 2016 will also be subject to the 40-percent surcharge. This currently corresponds to around 2.5 cents per kWh.
Newly installed systems with a capacity of up to 10 kWp and an annual output of 10 MWh will remain completely exempt from the EEG surcharge. This means the market segment of residential on roof (17% of the market in GW in 2013) will be exempt.
Systems commissioned before 1 August 2014 and used for actual self-consumption or for self-consumption operations are exempted from the EEG surcharge. Systems operating in full feed-in mode that had planned to switch to self-consumption after 1 August 2014 in order to take advantage of the grandfathering clause had to be switched to self-consumption before 1 August.
The supply of tenants with solar power using direct supply models, which under the provisions of the former EEG could claim a partial exemption from the EEG surcharge, will in the future have to pay 100 percent of the EEG surcharge (elimination of the “solar green electricity privilege”).
RENUMERATION FOR PHOTOVOLTAICS
The degression below 2,600 MW p.a. will decrease slightly. The shortening of the assessment period for adjustment of the degression, as well as an additional strengthening of the EEG absorption mechanism for the event of an undershooting of the EEG deployment corridor, as called for by BSW-Solar, were not pursued fully by the parliamentary groups of the coalition parties. However, in case of a weaker market, the mechanism was improved. The FiT will decrease less or even increase in case of fewer systems being built in Germany.
The minimal “compensation” of the EEG self-consumption surcharge through the one-time increase in PV remuneration as of 1 August by 0.3 ct/kWh remains in place. The negotiations produced no agreement regarding this point either.
MANDATORY DIRECT MARKETING
The coalition leaders were in agreement that the introduction of mandatory direct marketing should come about quicker than has so far been planned: Already as of 2016, all systems with an output of 100 kWp and more will be required to market electricity directly (until now this was not planned until 2017).
The coalition partners did comply with one of the demands of renewable energy associations: A so-called statutory ordinance will be added, which as a follow-up to the passing of the law can introduce a green electricity marketing model. Renewable energy associations see such a model as providing for significantly improved opportunities for a proper market integration of RES electricity with the previous market premiums.
TENDERS FOR GROUND MOUNTED SYSTEMS
The coalition government has decided to introduce tenders for open field installations to be followed by technology specific tenders for all technologies. Meanwhile the ordinance for ground mounted systems has been introduced. The tenders capacity for ground mounted systems in 2015 is 500 MW, in 2016 400 MW. For the time being the support scheme for roof top installations is based on feed-in tariffs and feed in premiums (depending on the size of the installation, see above) Currently the coalitions government is drafting the new law which will introduce technology specific tenders by 2017 latest.