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Politics and wind: The political setting for wind energy

Renewable energy laws

The former feed-in law for renewable energies, and currently the Renewable Energies Act (Link), have been crucial to the success of the wind power industry and to sharply increasing the onshore utilisation of wind energy (Link Graphik). The legal commitment for grid operators to make minimum payments for electricity fed into the grid from renewable energy sources has created a reliable basis for the expansion of wind energy.

The above law provides wind farm planners and turbine manufacturers with a solid basis for planning and calculation, guaranteeing the financing and the economic viability of their facilities. Resulting growth and continuing experience with wind technology have enabled ongoing technical development, ultimately leading to an "economy of scale". Cost reductions, technological innovations and synergetic effects have increased economic viability even more.

Reimbursement for offshore wind farms

The reimbursement rates for onshore wind power, defined in the Renewable Energies Act, are graded according to yield. Windy (coastal) sites receive a lower effective reimbursement than less windy (inland) sites (Link). The minimum reimbursement payment is guaranteed for at least 20 years.

A special ruling in the Renewable Energies Act provides for reimbursing power from offshore wind farms for nine years at the rate of €0.091/kWh. To qualify, wind farms must begin operations before the end of 2006. Starting in the tenth year of operations, reimbursement is paid at the rate of €0.0619/kWh. The law thus guarantees an average payment of about €0.07/kWh for 20 years, assuming that wind farms begin to operate on time. The Renewable Energies Act's regulations should be examined in detail regarding their effect on offshore wind farms since the time needed to develop offshore wind energy in Germany will clearly extend beyond 2006.

Renewable Energies Act not a government subsidy

The European Court of Justice decided in February 2001 that the Renewable Energies Act does not represent a government subsidy. This decision gives planning and legal security to investors even at European level.

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 More Links

>European Court of Justice
The decision of the European Court of Justice on the Renewable Energies Act
- Response of Ministry of Economic Affairs on court decision
- Response of Enviromental Ministry on court decision

>Measures to support renewables
- International comparison of the European Enviromental Agency (PDF)
- Press Release of the European Environmental Agency

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The Renewables Energies Act (EEG)

>BMWi Clearing-Site
Institution of the Ministry of Economic Affairs to resolve grid connection issues

>more Links..



Renewable Energies Act (Erneuerbare Energien-Gesetz) - feed-in legislation that regulates the preferred feed-in of renewable electricity at a fixed tariff.

Economy of Scale