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Germany Penalizes Clean Energy Producers for Using Their Own Energy


i8Fd8YPrEEZkIn their attempt to reduce the increasing electricity bills, German government is taking drastic and slightly controversial measures. Merkel and team plan to introduce a new charge, which will be introduced to penalize clean energy producers for consuming their self-generated energy instead of selling it to the grid for the price set by the government.

The only other place on Earth where such penalty exists is Arizona, but on a country scale, Germany would be the first to charge producers of clean energy instead of subsidizing and stimulating them. The fee is essentially what every power consumer pays when they use grid energy, but it has never applied to self-produced power.

As expected, the proposal attracted quite a number of enemies, as clean power companies feel it will make their environmentally friendly business extremely unattractive.  The solar industry is certain that such fee would stop new technology investors, who currently contribute to the success of the industry in the country with world’s highest number of solar installations.

But the German government is determined to find a way to reduce the current energy prices, as only Danish citizens in the EU pay more for electricity than the Germans. As explained by the government, the reason is that consumers now have to pay for the expansion of the renewable energy business, as more companies and large energy users, generate their own energy and do not buy grid power. The charge will apply to all new clean-power units that are smaller that 10 kilowatts, while new fossil-fired plants, who produce their own energy, will pay 90% of the fee. The reasoning is not very well accepted by the power-producers, who claim that clean energy actually reduces the cost of grid power simply because the companies send less energy through the network.

Germany is not the only country, which intends to introduce such charges. Spain is currently planning to charge small-sized solar power producers, because they currently do not contribute to the payment of the network cost. Some U.S. states, are even considering going a step further and charging private solar rooftop owners.

Image (c) Bloomberg

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