On 1 January 2009 the amendment of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) came into force.
The amendment provides a higher feed-in tariff for wind energy, and other measures to stimulate the development of both onshore and offshore wind power.
The feed-in tariff for onshore wind farms was increased from EUR 8.03 to EUR 9.2 cents/kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 5 years of operation, and EUR cents 5.02/kWh after that. This tariff will be decreased every year for new installations by 1%, as opposed to the previous 2%.
The law also increases the repowering bonus, to support the replacement of old turbines by new ones. The initial remuneration will be increased by EUR 0.5 cent/kWh. Turbines that are replaced must be located in the same administrative district and be at least ten years old. The new turbine needs to have at least twice, but no more than five times the original turbines capacity.
For offshore wind, the initial tariff is set at EUR cent 15 /kWh until 2015. After that it is set to decrease to EUR cent 13/kWh for new turbines, decreasing by 5% per year.
The amendment is meant to reflect the increasing costs faced by wind turbine manufacturers, largely due to increases in the costs of raw materials such as steel and copper.
Hydropower tariffs have increased, and differentiate between new and modernised facilities.
- For capacity up to 500kW, the tariff is EUR cents 12.67/kWh for new and EUR cents 11.67/kWh for modernised facilities.
- Between 500kW and 2MW the tariff for both facilities is EUR cents 8.65/kwh, and
- Between 2 and 5MW it is EUR cents 7.65/kWh for new and EUR cents 8.65/kWh for modernised facilities.
- For facilities over 5MW, the tariff starts at EUR cents 7.29/kWh for the first 500kW of output, decreasing for increasing outputs in three steps to reach EUR cents 3.05/kWh for output over 50MW. These same tariffs apply for capacity added to existing facilities that have more than 5MW capacity.
Biogas facility tariff changes generally favour small plants.
Tariffs for landfill gas facilities have increased for small plants up to 500kWel, to EUR cents 9/kWh from the previous 7.11. Tariffs for mine gas facilities up to 1MWel have also increased to EUR cents 7.16/kWh, and have decreased to EUR cents 5.16 and 4.16/kWh for capacity above 1MW and above 5MW respectively.
A new technology bonus is available for reprocessing facilities for landfill and sewage gas and biomass, of EUR cents 2/kWh up to a maximum of 350m3/hour and EUR cents 1/kWh up to a maximum of 700 m3/hour.
Small biomass facilities also benefit, with tariffs increased to EUR cents 11.67/kWh for capacity up to 150kWel (from EUR cents 10.67/kWel). Under the new EEG, the tariff of EUR cents 7.79/kWh for capacity over 5MW only applies if the electricity is produced using combined heat and power generation.
In addition, the CHP bonus for electricity produced using biomass combined heat and power increased to EUR cents 3/kWh. The tariff and bonuses will decrease by 1% a year. In addition, biogas and biomass production that uses energy crops, waste biomass and manure are eligible for bonuses.
Tariffs for geothermal facilities increase and are simplified into under and over 10MW capacity categories. For the former the rate is EUR cents 16/kWh, and for the latter EUR cents 10.5/kWh.
New heat cogeneration bonuses were introduced, of EUR cents 3/kWh for a capacity of up to 10MWel, increasing to EUR cents 4/kWh if petrothermal technology is used. The tariff and bonuses decrease by 1% a year.
For solar PV, tariffs under the new law decreased for all capacity sizes.
- For roof-mounted facilities, these are EUR cents 43.01/kWh up to 30kW,
- 40.91 from 30 to 100kW,
- 39.58 from 100kW to 1MW,
- and 33 over 1MW.
- For free-standing facilities the tariff decreased to EUR cents 31.94/kWh. The new law removed bonuses for building integrated facilities.