Are renewable energies really renewable

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Renewable energies are expected to provide 65 percent of German electricity consumption in 2030. In order to achieve this important intermediate goal on the way to greenhouse gas neutrality, the EEG 2021 sets the central course. This law defines the target model of the Climate Protection Program 2030 and regulates the extent to which the individual technologies should contribute to the 65 percent target and the expansion paths with which this can be achieved. Some of the expansion paths are even more ambitious than those regulated in the 2030 Climate Protection Program in order to create additional security when the 65 percent expansion target is achieved. The required tender quantities for the individual technologies are derived from this until 2028, since these tender quantities will be realized by 2030. The tender volumes for the period from 2029 (implementation date from 2030) will be decided at a later point in time. In addition, the EEG 2021 provides for annual monitoring of target achievement to ensure that the 65% target is achieved in 2030. If the EU resolves specific new expansion targets for renewable energies as part of the implementation of the Green Deal, the EEG will also be adjusted accordingly.

The new tender volumes provide for an accelerated expansion of renewable energies. In order to achieve this, this law makes further areas usable for the energy turnaround: In order to stimulate the expansion of wind on land, locations with less wind can also be developed economically in the future, and special solar systems will also be included in the innovation tender. These measures are intended to give the expansion of renewable energies further impetus and to ensure competition in the tenders.

However, the 65 percent expansion target can only be achieved with a joint effort by all actors in the federal, state and local governments. In addition to the changes in energy law presented here, further steps must be taken. In particular, the planning, licensing and nature and species protection laws must reflect the ambitious expansion goals for renewable energies. The federal and state governments will make further joint efforts to this end and coordinate closely. For this purpose, the EEG 2021 will set up a cooperation committee of the responsible state secretaries of the federal states and the federal states under the direction of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, and annual reporting obligations for the federal and state governments will be anchored.

In the National Hydrogen Strategy (PDF, 1 MB) already announced in the 2030 Climate Protection Program and approved by the Federal Cabinet on June 10, 2020, the EEG surcharge for the production of green hydrogen is limited. The EEG 2021 creates two options for this, between which the hydrogen manufacturers can choose. On the one hand, an unbureaucratic possibility is created to deal with the EEG surcharge for manufacturers of hydrogen within the framework of the special equalization scheme. On the other hand, a statutory full exemption from the EEG surcharge will be created for the manufacturers of green hydrogen. For this purpose, the law contains an authorization to issue ordinances, on the basis of which the requirements for green hydrogen can be regulated. The system operator can choose between the two options every calendar year.

To strengthen air pollution control, the EEG 2021 creates an inexpensive way for seagoing ships to obtain shore power when anchoring in port, instead of running the diesel generators. For this purpose, the EEG surcharge for the purchase of shore power by seagoing vessels is limited. This is not only beneficial for the overall climate, but also for the local air quality.