New financing for EEG surcharge: Federal government pays more for green electricity

For electricity customers, the EEG surcharge will decrease slightly next year. The state is contributing almost 11 billion euros for this. The main reason is Corona.

Is funded by the EEG, but is not to blame for the increase in the levy: wind turbine in Erkelenz Photo: David Young / dpa

So far, October 15 has been an important date for German electricity customers: on this day, the network operators traditionally announce how high the so-called EEG surcharge will be for the next year. With this surcharge on the electricity price, which household and commercial customers have to pay in full and industrial companies in part, the costs for the expansion of wind, solar and biomass power plants are covered. This year the date was particularly interesting for the Federal Minister of Finance; For the first time, consumers couldn’t care less about it.

It was already clear in advance that the EEG surcharge on the electricity bill would not increase at the turn of the year, but rather decrease slightly – from the current 6.8 to 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour. The federal government had determined this as part of the economic stimulus package. Instead, the additional costs for green electricity are to be financed from the federal budget. Among other things, income from the new CO is to be used for this2-Price that will be charged in the transport and building sector from next year.

However, this subsidy is now more expensive for the federal government than expected. Because arithmetically, the EEG surcharge will increase significantly next year. Without a government subsidy, it would be 9.7 cents, the network operators announced on Thursday. To compensate for this increase, just under 11 billion euros are required. A private household with a consumption of 3,500 kilowatt hours per year will save 10 euros per month including VAT. How the electricity price will develop is still open.

Renewable energies themselves are not the reason for the sharp rise in EEG costs. Their expansion was recently even slower than planned, and the prices that have to be paid for each kilowatt hour fed into the grid have fallen sharply, so that the expansion hardly comes at relevant additional costs leads. The main reason for this is the fact that this year, due to the corona, electricity consumption is around 8 percent lower than expected, which means that prices on the electricity exchange have fallen sharply.

And that in turn drives up the EEG surcharge, because it is calculated from the difference between the fixed remuneration that the operators of green electricity systems receive and the respective stock exchange prices.

For the state, the promised stabilization of the surcharge is more expensive than expected. And in order to keep the commitment to lower the surcharge again to 6 cents in 2022, further funds will probably be required because more than half of the budget of 19 billion euros planned for both years will already be used next year.

Economics Minister Peter Altmaier (CDU) welcomed the lowering as an important part of his concern to “reconcile climate protection and the economy”. For the SPD, parliamentary deputy Matthias Miersch urged a comprehensive reform of the tax system. Green energy expert Oliver Krischer called for the EEG surcharge to be reduced by a higher CO2-Price “pushing to zero”.

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