Bundestag passes amendments to Germany’s renewable energy act

(EurActiv, 17 Dec 2020) The German Bundestag passed an amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) on Thursday (17 December), without support from the opposition. The leftist Die Linke and Greens have called for higher green electricity production targets while the liberal FDP wants to allow “negative emission technologies.” EURACTIV Germany reports.

The law will come into force on 1 January 2021, completely replacing the EEG Act of 2017, to help the country meet the goal of producing 65% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2030.

The Social Democrats (SPD) wanted to stipulate in the law that the expansion of renewable energies served public safety. This passage alarmed opposition parties and environmental protection organisations alike, as they feared that a legally stipulated public interest could also have an impact on judicial decisions.

In the case of land expropriation for the construction of wind farms, for example, such a “public interest” could make expropriation much easier. In theory, this does not have to be enshrined in law; it is sufficient for a judge to find that there is a public interest.

EEG amendment criticised for lacking teeth

The passage was removed from the EEG amendment, and so it is now the renewable energy sector that is complaining. The German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) said that the clear commitment to the energy transition was effectively being removed from the EEG.

Green electricity provider LichtBlick similarly argued that the reform lacks vision and courage.

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EurActiv, 17 Dec 2020: Bundestag passes amendments to Germany’s renewable energy act