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Renewable energy surcharge for 2021 set at 6.500 ct/kWh

Surcharge to fall in 2021

Year of issue 2020
date of issue 2020.10.15

The contribution charge to cover the costs of the electricity for which payments are made under the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) – known as the EEG surcharge – will be 6.500 cents per kilowatt hour (ct/kWh) next year.

The surcharge is announced in mid-October each year for the following calendar year by the transmission system operators (TSOs) on the basis of expert forecasts. The Bundesnetzagentur ensures that the surcharge has been determined properly. The surcharge for 2020 was 6.756 ct/kWh.

Coronavirus stimulus package prevents increase in surcharge

The EEG surcharge will be limited next year by the coronavirus-related economic stimulus package. The assistance provided by the German government under the programme will prevent the surcharge from being much higher than this year's, which would otherwise have been the case due to the effects of the Covid pandemic.

The pandemic has caused considerable additional financing requirements, because revenue from the surcharge has fallen in 2020 owing to lower electricity consumption and revenue from the sale of electricity from renewable sources on the exchange has also dropped owing to the falling wholesale price. These two factors combined to lead to a record deficit on the EEG account for 2020, which has to be made up in 2021.

Lower revenue due to reduced demand for electricity and lower wholesale prices is expected for next year as well. The TSOs have tried to take this into account in their estimated revenues for 2021.

Expected growth for 2021 driven only by solar installations

The TSOs are expecting a net increase of 5.1 GW in renewable capacity in 2021, driven by the continued growth in solar installations. As in previous years, wind power growth will not meet its targets.

Energy generated from renewable sources is set to amount to 228 terawatt hours (TWh). Overall, the TSOs are forecasting payments to operators of renewable energy installations totalling €34bn in 2021. This is set against a profit forecast on the electricity exchange of around €7.2bn for renewable electricity. Payment costs of €26.8bn therefore have to be covered by the EEG surcharge and the government assistance.

Liquidity reserve to increase

As in the previous years, next year's surcharge includes a liquidity reserve that serves to offset negative account balances (eg owing to sharply falling electricity prices on the exchange) and liquidity risks arising from the dependence of the account balance on the renewable generation that fluctuates through the seasons.

The TSOs have increased the reserve by two percentage points compared to the previous year to 10%, reflecting higher risks from the estimate of electricity demand and the development of electricity prices resulting from uncertainty as to the future course of the pandemic.

The surcharge makes up part of the electricity price. Up-to-date information about the development of electricity prices for household customers is available online at www.bundesnetzagentur.de/energie-rechnungen#FAQ402188.

Press release (pdf / 326 KB)