Federal Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin: Effective climate protection and engine of innovation for trade and industry
On 1 August 2004, the new Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) entered into force, following its promulgation in the Federal Law Gazette on 31 July. "The new EEG provides a reliable legal framework for investments in solar power, wind energy, hydropower, bioenergy and geothermal energy," said Federal Environment Minister Jürgen Trittin. "The amendment ensures the successful development of renewables, a sector in which 120,000 jobs and an annual turnover volume of 10 billion euros in Germany have already been created. The EEG is thus one of the most effective climate protection instruments in the world. It is an engine for innovation and increases export opportunities for German technology." The new compensation rates, which are now more differentiated, will be reduced over the years, ensuring that renewables are cost-effective. "Supporting renewable energies will still cost an average household just 1 euro a month - the price of an ice-cream cone," said Trittin.
The aim of the Act is to increase the share of renewables in total electricity supply to at least 12.5 per cent by 2010, and to at least 20 per cent by 2020. To achieve this, significant improvements have been made to the framework conditions for feeding electricity from renewables into the grid and for transmitting and distributing this electricity.
The following figures highlight the EEG's effectiveness as a climate protection instrument: in 2003, around 23 million tonnes of carbon dioxide were saved as a result of the EEG and 53 million tonnes through the utilisation of renewable energies altogether (electricity, heat and fuels). For the year 2010, it is estimated that the EEG alone will enable over 40 million t CO2 to be avoided, and around 80 million tonnes in total through the utilisation of renewables.
The new EEG was promulgated in the Federal Law Gazette on 31 July and entered into force on 1 August. The text of the new EEG and the justification and background clarification papers are available (in German) on the Internet at www.erneuerbare-energien.de.
Read the english version of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (as of 21 July 2004, legally non-binding version).