Germany introduces steps to boost renewable energy expansion

SEPTEMBER 07, 2022

BERLINGermany's government will introduce further measures to promote the expansion of renewable energy, including a new solar power tender and improving biogas plant regulations, a draft law showed on Tuesday, as Berlin seeks alternatives for Russian gas.

Following Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Germany's attempt to reduce Russian fossil-fuel imports, the government has been scrambling to accelerate its transition towards green energy.

In July, parliament backed a law to expand renewable energy, with the aim of having 80% of the country's electricity supplied by renewables by 2030, but the new draft law aims to bridge gaps in that bill and in other energy regulations. The government plans to launch an additional "special crisis" tender for 1,500 megawatts of solar output in January 2023 and to scrap production limits for smaller solar power plants, the draft showed.

It said Berlin will also create better funding regulations for the use of biogas plants until 2024 and introduce laws to accelerate expanding and strengthening the power grid capacity and efficiency in Europe's biggest economy.

The draft changes the Energy Industry Act to improve utilization of the offshore network lines in the short and medium term.

"This is absolutely essential for the security of supply in the coming winters and is also necessary beyond that," the draft law said.

The government also plans to amend the gas-levy bill which will come into force from Oct. 1 to ensure that it will apply to all gas consumers, including those with fixed-price contracts, and to guarantee that only companies in need will benefit from it.

Germany's lower house of parliament is expected to vote on the gas-levy law, part of the Energy Security Act, this month.