• Consumers in some states paying more for grid stabilization
  • Grid builder 50Hertz says uniform grid fees needed quicker

Germany’s northeastern states, among the nation’s top wind- and solar-power producers, are being punished by steep power transmission fees, grid operator 50Hertz GmbH said.

Germany’s current transmission fee system is “not up to the challenges of the Energy Transition,” said 50Hertz’ Chief Executive Officer Boris Schucht Monday in a statement. Clean-energy-shift costs must be shared fairly or “risk that the different transmission fees paid by regions will drift even further apart,” he said.

Plans by the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel to roll out uniform power transmission fees aren’t happening fast enough for power providers bearing the brunt of grid management fees, according to Berlin-based 50Hertz. The company, which operates about 10,000 kilometers (6,215 miles) of cable, is owned by Belgium’s Elia System Operator and Australia’s IFM Global Infrastructure.

Patchy progress in building a new German electricity highway from north to south means that states generating wind and solar power, such as Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and Brandenburg, are bearing the brunt of costs to stabilize the existing grid, 50Hertz said. . Transmission fees, taxes and other charges are being passed on to electricity consumers.

Extra fees caused by the expansion of wind and solar power added about 1 billion euros ($1.11 billion) to consumers electricity bills in 2015 and may climb to 1.5 billion euros this year, the Economy and Energy Ministry said. 50Hertz boosted investment by 40 percent last year to 572 million euros and plans to invest another 3.45 billion euros in the grid by 2020.

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