Roesler Seeks Market Systems to Curb Germany’s Clean Power Cost

Germany should introduce incentives so owners of clean-energy plants sell power when it’s needed instead of raking in aid and inflating consumer bills, Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said.

Owners of renewable generators may get a fixed payment on top of what they make from having to sell power on the market, Roesler said in an interview in Berlin. The payment would be a first step to replace feed-in tariffs that guarantee state aid for 20 years with fixed levels of renewable generation under a plan by his Free Democratic Party, he said yesterday.

The proposed system would “act as an incentive to produce differently or bank on storage systems,” he said. Developers can make more money selling when other renewable plants don’t produce and prices on power exchanges are higher.

Germany’s plan to triple the share of renewables in its power mix and replace nuclear capacity helped drive up energy costs ahead of the election Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is preparing for in September. The nation had the third-highest consumer power prices in the European Union in 2012, behind only Denmark and Cyprus, according to Eurostat.

Consumers in Europe’s biggest economy have seen bills climb this year after a fee they pay for renewables jumped 47 percent to a record. The fee is inflated in part by an oversupply of clean energy during the day, which depresses prices at power exchanges.

While Roesler said he opposes retroactive changes to the country’s subsidy payment system, Germany needs a “fundamental reform,” of the EEG law that’s expected to generate costs of about 20 billion euros ($26.4 billion) this year, he said.

The FDP’s proposal of fixed levels of generation “would for the first time put individual generation sources in competition with each other while taking into account their production costs,” he said.

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