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German govt approves renewables law reform, sets interim targets to 2030

Highlights

Annual renewables target rises from 259 TWh in 2021 to 376 TWh in 2029

Tenders to steer capacity to 65 GW wind, 86 GW solar by 2026

Adds carbon-neutral power mix target before 2050

London — The German cabinet Sept. 23 approved a reform of the EEG 2021 renewable energy law, setting a detailed expansion path for wind and solar to meet a target by 2030 of a 65% share of green electricity in the generation mix.

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The law sets a legally binding target to achieve a carbon neutral power mix by 2050, energy and economy minister Peter Altmaier said.

The final version of the agreed draft adds annual targets for renewable generation, starting at 259 TWh for 2021 and rising to 376 TWh by 2029, with the government steering capacity additions accordingly.

To this end, some 40 GW of subsidized solar and wind contracts are to be tendered between 2021 and 2025, including offshore wind, with details to be set out in a separate law.

The draft also sets interim targets for installed onshore wind and solar capacity, with 2030 targets increasing solar's contribution from the climate change law passed a year earlier.

Installed onshore wind capacity is set to rise from 54 GW now to 65 GW by 2026, and then to 71 GW by 2030, via tendering of 2.9-5.8 GW a year and the management of first-generation turbines whose 20-year support periods will end from 2021.

Solar would benefit from up to 2 GW of annual tenders for ground-based projects, plus continued feed-in-tariff support for commercial and residential rooftop projects.

For biomass, the EEG is targeting 8.4 GW of installed capacity by 2030 with various forms of support.

Wind, solar, biomass and hydro combined generated 244 TWh in 2019, a 43% share in the power mix.

That share rose to 50% in the first half of 2020 amid record wind and sluggish demand due to the coronavirus crisis and a mild winter.

Cabinet also passed measures to speed-up grid expansion to integrate renewables across sectors.

Altmaier pointed out improved legislation for vessels to access electricity at ports as well as an exemption from the EEG levy for green hydrogen producers.

The levy bridges the gap between agreed tariffs for RES operators and the market value of the energy in the spot power market currently pegged around Eur25 billion for 2020 with income from a carbon tax on transport and heating to offset future gains from 2021.

GERMAN GREEN POWER EXPANSION PATH (EEG 2021)

RES output
Share
Wind (onshore)
Wind (offshore)*
Solar
Biomass
TWh
%
GW
GW
GW
GW
2019
244
43
H1 2020
135
50
54
7.7
52
8.2
2021
259
2022
269
57
63
2023
281
2024
295
62
73
2025
308
2026
318
65
86
2027
330
2028
350
68
95
2029
376
2030
65
71
20
100
8.4

Source: EEG 2021 (approved by cabinet Sept. 23), historic data BDEW, BNetzA, TSOs; * details to be set out in offshore law