At an event of the "Alliance for Fair Energy Transition" - a gathering of seven associations of medium-sized industries with a total of around 10,000 member companies - on October 11, 2017 in Düsseldorf, all the speakers and participants from politics, economics, and science agreed that a reduction of the electricity price including levies in Germany is urgently needed. It became clear once again that the burden of the high levies on the electricity price is no longer sustainable. Even the desired further expansion of the electric grid (electric mobility / sectoral coupling) is endangered because of the high current price.
Lectures were given by Prof. Dr. Dieter Oesterwind from the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences, Dr. Patrick Graichen, Director of Agora Energiewende, Berlin, and Michael Geßner, Head of the Department of Energy Economics, Nuclear Engineering and Mining at the Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitization and Energy in the state of North-Rhine Westphalia. Additional speakers included Bernd H. Williams-Book of the Ortrander Eisenhütte GmbH, representatives of medium-sized industry, as well as Dr. Michael Pahle of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) and Dr. Thilo Schäfer from the German Business Institute, Cologne. The event was moderated by Franz Lamprecht, editor-in-chief of the trade journal Energiewirtschaftliche Tagesfragen.
Electricity costs a burden
From the companies’ point of view, the EEG costs and the other levies on the electricity account, especially for medium-sized industrial companies, have already far exceeded the tolerable limit. The high burden on companies and the uncertainty about further development mean that necessary investments cannot be made and that urgently needed employees cannot be recruited.
The recently-published figures for the EEG levy 2018 also show a continued burden from the point of view of the "Alliance for Fair Energy Transition". The levy is stagnating, and it is clear to all experts that a pure one-off effect is the reason for the minimal decline compared to 2017. In 2019, however, the levy could increase further to 7.5 cents per kilowatt hour and in the medium term to possibly more than 10 cents per kilowatt hour, if the new offshore wind turbines become fully effective.
Federal assistance the only solution to the cost problem
The Alliance for Fair Energy Transition is of the opinion that partial solutions - as suggested by some participants of the event on October 11th - are not a practical answer to the cost problem. The only "sustainable" and socially just alternative is the complete shift of all costs of energy supply from the private electricity account to the federal budget, according to Dr. Thilo Schäfer from IW Cologne.