GERMANY ENERGY CHANGES
ENERDATA - 1 Mar 2022 - The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action has proposed higher renewable capacity targets to make the country's power supply almost 100% renewable by 2035. Germany currently targets full renewable supply before 2050. The Renewable Energy Act (EEG) will be amended to reach up to 110 GW of onshore wind capacity by 2030, 30 GW of offshore wind and 200 GW of solar PV capacity, and tender volumes under the EEG will be adjusted to meet the higher targets. Auctions would be maintained but community-led projects would be exempted from the tendering process, and ground-mounted solar projects would gradually enter into a Contract for Difference (CfD) scheme. The renewable support cost should be borne by the German budget as of mid-2022, since coalition parties have just approved a €13bn package of measures to help households in a context of soaring energy prices: the EEG surcharge, levied on electricity bills to support renewables, will be abandoned as of 1 July 2022 (instead of January 2023), which should save around €150/year for an average household and cost €6.6bn to the German budget.
In addition, Germany will look into all options in response to the likely decrease or stop in Russian fossil fuel deliveries to Germany, including a longer run-time of nuclear and coal-fired power plants, even if those options are unlikely. The last remaining nuclear power plants in Germany are scheduled to be decommissioned by the end of 2022. The country has set a legal date for phasing out coal power by 2038, which could be accelerated to 2030 if possible. Moreover, Germany has relaunched plans to build two liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals, one in Brunsbuettel and one in Wilhelmshaven. The regasification project in Brunsbuettel is developed by a consortium of Gasunie, Oiltanking and Vopak and would have an initial capacity of 8 bcm/year. The Wilhelmshaven project, promoted by Uniper, was initially expected to have a capacity of 10 bcm/year (cancelled in early 2021).
Finally, the country will increase the volume of natural gas in its storage facilities by 2 bcm via long-term options. Germany has 24 bcm of underground caverns of gas storage. A draft law is under preparation and should oblige gas storage owners to have their storage facilities full before the start of the winter. A similar coal reserve is under consideration since Germany is 50% dependent on Russian coal imports.