German government approves industrial exemptions to EEG fees
The Federal government of Germany has approved a bill on the revision of the special equalization scheme, aimed at protecting energy-intensive industries from increases in the EEG contribution (renewable electricity surcharge on end-consumer bills). In 2014, the EEG levy increased by 18% from €2.577c/kWh in 2013 to €6.24c/kWh. To limit the impacts on energy-intensive industries and preserve their international competitiveness, the latter were granted EEG reductions (as of 2003, and renewed under the Renewable Energy Law as amended in 2012). The new law tightens the criteria for the discounts in line with EU requirements. Eligible companies will be defined with the guidelines of the European Union. They will pay 15% of the EEG fee, but the payment is limited to 4% of the gross added value of the company (to 0.5% in the case of large consumers such as steel or aluminium plants). Companies that benefited from discounts in 2012 but no longer fall under the criteria will have to pay 20% of the EEG.
The law is expected to be adopted in July 2014 and to enter into force in early August 2014.
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