The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Germany First in Europe to Tax Consumer Use of Clean Energy

Germany First in Europe to Tax Consumer Use of Clean Energy

Germany is set to become the first nation in Europe to charge owners of renewable energy plants for their own use of electricity, part of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s effort to contain rising power bills.

Merkel’s Cabinet backed proposals to charge operators of new clean-energy plants 70 percent of the so-called EEG-Umlage, a fee paid by power consumers that they’re currently exempt from, according to an economy ministry document. That would translate into 4.4 euro cents (6 cents) a kilowatt-hour.

The solar industry says such a payment would curb investments in the technology in the nation that has the most installations of photovoltaics in the world.

“The fee will make the environmentally friendly self- consumption of solar power unattractive, especially for the Mittelstand, farmers and companies,” David Wedepohl, a spokesman for the BSW-Solar lobby, said today by e-mail. Developers that consume their own solar power already lower the costs of Merkel’s energy program by not selling their power to the grid at above-market rates, he said.

Germany would be the first European country to penalize the self-consumption of solar energy, something only Arizona has done so far. Spain is also working on a similar plan to ensure small solar power generators, which reduce total grid users, help pay for network costs. As many as a dozen U.S. states are also considering charges for solar rooftop owners.

German Plan

German consumers pay for the country’s clean-energy expansion through a surcharge on their bills. The fee is inflated by the rebates for consumers that use their own power and by aid for companies that are large energy users. It jumped 18 percent to 6.24 euro cents a kilowatt-hour this year. German households are now paying more for electricity than any other nation in the European Union except Denmark.

The charge would not be applied to new units sized 10 kilowatts or smaller, according to the document. Operators of new fossil-fired plants who consume the power themselves would have to pay 90 percent of the charge, according to the document.

Arizona approved a charge of 70 cents a kilowatt in November, setting a precedent for the U.S. market. In California, where solar already powers 626,000 homes, utilities are pushing for fees to connect solar panels to the grid that would add about $120 a year to rooftop users’ bills, a move trade groups say would slow installations.

Using your own power reduces grid costs because less power has to be sent through the networks, Wedepohl said. “It’s a trend that makes sense in many ways,” he said. “It’s incomprehensible that this should now be made unattractive despite good first experiences.”

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

Lead image: Germany map via Shutterstock

RELATED ARTICLES

How to Win Planning Permission for Renewable Energy Projects (and Influence People)

Tildy Bayar, Contributor At Tuesday afternoon’s POWER-GEN Europe and Renewable Energy World Europe conference session in Amsterdam, Paul Davison of PR firm Proteus discussed how to best communicate with the public regarding renewable ene...
Egypt flag

Egypt's Renewable Energy Drive Gains Steam

Andrew Burger, Correspondent There's a lot of action in Egypt's rapidly developing solar and renewable energy market space. Nearly 5 GW worth of solar power development agreements have been signed so far this year, while Egypt 's New and Renewable Ene...

Elon Musk Says Utilities Shouldn’t Fear His Battery Systems

Mark Chediak and Dana Hull, Bloomberg

Elon Musk, chief executive officer of Tesla Motors Inc., told electric utility owners they shouldn’t fear that his battery systems will put them out of business -- instead, they should buy them.

 

India's Seabiscuit: How Solar Energy Can Be the Symbol of Hope for Electricity Woes

Aditya Goel, Ornate Solar For those unfamiliar with the story of the horse that Hollywood made famous, Seabiscuit was a small horse who had an inauspicious start to his racing career. History though, remembers Seabiscuit not for his diminutive...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

2015 Solar Power International

Stop by and visit Canadian Solar at the 2015 SPI show!

2015 Intersolar-North America

Intersolar is North America's premier solar show, and it is taking place...

PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...

COMPANY BLOGS

DIY: Don’t Install Yourself

You finally made the choice to go solar. Seems like it might be pretty e...

Capturing Your Prospects' Attention In Three Sentences

You have about 15 seconds to capture your prospects’ attention, wh...

Five Reasons to Go Solar Now

Solar’s popularity has skyrocketed recently, thanks to a price dro...

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS