Germany’s governing coalition has agreed upon changes to a new energy law which will support power production through renewables. This is expected to help the country meet its goal of producing 65 per cent of its electricity from green sources by 2030. Following a vote in the parliament, the amended Renewable Energy Act (EEG) is set to take effect in January 2021.
The EEG will give include provisions which will incentivise local communities to build onshore wind projects, encourage biomass and geothermal energy and promote development of large-scale solar plants on commercial buildings as well as smaller-scale rooftop installations. The new legislation is expected to make it easier for householders and apartment dwellers to install solar projects and source electricity from them. The national renewable capacity targets for Germany are also going to be raised, however the specifications will only be worked out in the early months of 2021.
The law is expected to take effect in January 2021, which is around the time when installations face an end to their feed-in payments after a 20-year support period. The amended EEG has provisions to help such projects. For instance, to ensure continued operation of old plants, onshore wind projects can participate in auctions for renewed support till 2022.
According to Bundesverband der Energie- und Wasserwirtschaft (BDEW), renewable energy catered to about 46.3 per cent of Germany’s total power consumption in 2020. This was an increase of 3.8 per cent over the figure in 2019, although this was partly due to drop in energy demand due to the pandemic. Due to decrease in energy demand, conventional operators scaled back generation from fossil fuels to avoid overproduction. In 2020, the share of green energy within domestic power consumption of Germany totaled 543.6 TWh. According to BDEW, there were also beneficial wind and sunshine patterns that drove output higher.