European General Court ruling highlights the need for reform

German renewable energy act (EEG) needs new funding basis

For definite legal certainty, the German federal government should seek last-instance clarification before the European Court of Justice (ECJ) of whether the German renewable energy act (EEG) is state aid under European legislation – so the VCI’s director-general Utz Tillmann. Irrespective of this, there is a general need for action in the promotion of renewable energies in Germany. The ongoing EEG amendment will not solve the cost problem.

Is the German EEG a state aid according to European legislation or not? As to VCI, the ECJ should clarify this question in last instance. Irrespective of the outcome, VCI states: There is a need for action regarding the support for renewable energies in Germany, as a matter of principle. - Photo: . © nmann77 - Fotolia.com
Is the German EEG a state aid according to European legislation or not? As to VCI, the ECJ should clarify this question in last instance. Irrespective of the outcome, VCI states: There is a need for action regarding the support for renewable energies in Germany, as a matter of principle. - Photo: . © nmann77 - Fotolia.com

In today’s decision the General Court of the European Union holds that the German renewable energy act (EEG) is state aid under European legislation. For definite legal certainty, the German chemical industry association VCI calls upon the federal govern-ment to seek last-instance clarification before the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

Irrespective of the final outcome of the proceedings, VCI director-general Utz Tillmann emphasizes that there is a need for action regarding the support for renewable energies in Germany, as a matter of principle. Tillmann: “Already now, the promotion of renewable energies has reached a volume that is no longer acceptable generally and no longer affordable for small and medium-sized enterprises. Promotion funds of over 20 billion euros per year should be no longer passed on to consumers without parliamentary control. The ongoing EEG amendment will not solve the cost problem. For this reason, politicians should think about a new system for funding the energy transition – or Energiewende.”

Tillmann also addressed the potential consequences of the ruling: “The decision by the General Court of the European Union impacts not only the promotion of renewable energies in Germany. It is also of consequence to energy-intensive industries like chemistry, as the Court sees EEG burden-easing under the special compensation rule as state aid, too. However, without such burden-easing we are threatened by an avalanche of costs that puts at risk our international competitiveness.” Tillmann urged the federal government to take all steps possible to lower the costs for energy-intensive industries also in the future, so that these businesses can remain competitive.


The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2015 the German chemical industry realised sales of around 189 billion euros and employed 446,000 staff.

Contact: VCI Press Dept., Phone: +49 69 2556-1496, E-Mail: presse@vci.de

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Contacts

Stud. Ass. Manfred Ritz

E-Mail: ritz@vci.de