German Renewable Energy Tax Lets Industry Off The Hook

Consumers in Germany are set to see their power bills go up as part of the tariff required in the German Renewable Energy Act.

While this may sound like a bad thing, it is due to renewables being such a popular success in Germany. More units of power sold qualify for the tariff. Part of the problem is that consumers pay the total of all renewable tariffs while industries pay little or nothing. Industry uses 45.8% of the electricity in Germany while residential homes use only 26.6% of the power. Industry mostly does not pay the  tariff even though they use double the power consumers do.

As more units of power are put into the power grid each day from renewable generation there are more tariff’s to pay. IE: 100 units of power in a day would create the tariff fee 100 times, 200 units of power per day would need to pay the tariff 200 times. So in a way the fee increase is caused by renewable’s success.

The imbalance between industry and consumer consumption and the industry exemption is becoming a bit of a political issue with some citing it could impact the upcoming election.

The increase will cause the tariff to go up about 47% from previous years and is abou 14% of the average power bill.  The average German residential power bill would go up $383 USD or about 296 euros a year.

One proposal was to make all industry users also pay the tariff on their bills. Industry sources claimed they would transfer the costs to consumers forcing them to pay it anyways. This threat is commonly used by industry over anything that mandates they pay more taxes or wages but do not always directly transfer to consumers. Some other proposed ideas include free energy saving consultants for everyone, reduction of other taxes, limit the feed-in tariffs or removing the industry exemption.

One group that won’t be burdened as much by the tariff increase are those that generate all or most of their own electricity through solar panels on their homes. They would only pay the tariff on the amount of power they purchased from the grid. A group of people are protesting this Saturday in Berlin in support of the act but in opposition of the industry exemptions from contributing.

To find out more about Germany’s Renewable Energy Resources act read here: http://www.unendlich-viel-energie.de/en/policy/the-renewable-sources-act.html

 

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