Although the German government could prevent an aprupt increase of energy costs, the energy-intensive industries in Germany (EID) do not see the amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), as adopted by German Parliament, as as major progress towards reducing the costs of renewables promotion in the medium term.
Press Release by the Energy-Intensive Industries in Germany (EID)
The situation of the energy-intensive industries in Germany (EID) has worsened with the EEG amendment: due to the last-minute tightening of the hardship rule and the time-limited exemption for existing self-generation of power. Within the reform of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG), the stance taken by the German government in Brussels prevented an abrupt cost increase for EID so that their future has been secured for now. But these industries do not see the amendment, which was adopted today by German Parliament (Bundestag), as major progress towards reducing the costs of renewables promotion in the medium term. Pursuant to the amended legislation, companies that largely benefitted from burden-easing measures in the past will need to pay even more, because the minimum rate for the EEG allocation (EEG-Umlage) has doubled.
EID spokesman Utz Tillmann (director-general of the German chemical industry association VCI) stated: “Figuratively speaking, the review demanded by the EU Commission is an ‘own goal’ in industry and energy policies – with the only effect of causing uncertainty among the companies. If the existing self-generation exemption is abandoned in 2017, the trust of companies in the reliability of political decisions will be lost on a massive scale. In this form, the EEG endangers existing installations and stands in the way of fresh investments in climate-friendly own power supplies.” According to Tillmann, the federal government should implement as soon as possible the envisaged solution of limiting the burdens for existing and new installations. Tillmann also urged to make up for future burdens on ecologically favourable self-generation installations, at the very least by increasing the promotion of combined heat and power (CHP). Furthermore, there should be a general exemption from the EEG allocation for electricity generation from residual gases and residual energies.
Klaus Windhagen (EID spokesman and director-general of the German Pulp and Paper Association/VDP) pointed out that some companies, which are engaged in international competition and rightfully fell under burden-easing measures up until now, will have to pay the full EEG allocation in the coming years – even though nothing has changed in their situation. Windhagen thinks that the federal government has identified the points to be remedied in the Energiewende so that concrete action needs to follow in these respects.Otherwise the competitiveness of German industry will be lost, so Windhagen.
Energy-Intensive Industries in Germany (EID) have around 830,000 staff, accounting for 14 percent of employment in the manufacturing sector. Every job in the energy-intensive production of basic materials secures about two jobs in other industries or in the service sector.