Recognize the importance of CHP plants for the energy supply

WINGAS Managing Director for Sales, Ludwig Möhring, criticizes the reform of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG): "For an optimal energy supply we need more KWK, not less."

Kassel. The German federal government has agreed on a reform of the Renewable Energies Act (EEG). Wind turbines in particular will benefit from better conditions in future. In contrast, highly-efficient combined heat and power plants for generating energy for self-consumption will face a bigger financial burden in future because of their inclusion in the EEG levy.

“Those who produce electricity decentrally for their own consumption are relieving the pressure on the electricity networks and implementing the objectives of the energy transition,” Ludwig Möhring says commenting on the amended EEG provisions. The WINGAS Managing Director responsible for sales welcomes the fact that existing power plants for industrial companies will remain exempt from the EEG cost apportionment levy. But the fact that the reform envisages including new medium-sized CHP plants, which are ideal for large apartment buildings or office blocks, in the EEG levy, is met with incomprehension.

“The federal government made a clear commitment to the “25 percent CHP by 2020” target in its coalition agreement,” Möhring underlined. “If the self-consumption rule is now curtailed as planned, the economic feasibility of many projects is at stake – the government needs to review this if the objectives it set are to be achieved.”

In addition, since the fact that contracting concepts are at a disadvantage was not remedied, and even biomethane can no longer be profitable in CHP under the new EEG, it runs counter to the efforts of numerous municipal utilities towards a decentral energy supply. “As a partner of many municipal utilities, we had hoped that policy-makers would keep to their target to expand the share of CHP to 25 percent and promote this highly efficient technology,” the WINGAS Managing Director continued. “By increasing the use of small and medium-sized CHP units (micro-CHP) in particular, it is not only possible to generate heat very efficiently, but also to produce electricity decentrally at all times.”

The WINGAS Managing Director considers putting a levy on the generation of energy for self-consumption “wrong in terms of the facts and regulatory policy”: “Especially because this will not lead to any real decrease in prices for electricity customers.” Current studies show that including the generation of energy for self-consumption in the levy would only lead to a minimal decrease in the current EEG levy for end consumers – from 6.24 to 6.2 ct/kWh. Möhring: “Hence, one cannot really speak of a noticeable reduction in the financial burden. If we really want to save energy and CO2, then we should replace technically obsolete heating systems with sensible alternatives. We need more CHP, not less.”

In addition, the increased use of CHP units would help optimize electricity transmission since they are used in the vicinity of heat load centers, where there is also a demand for electricity. In addition, the highly efficient CHP units stabilize the electricity transmission network – for they can help out quickly and in tune with demand at times when electricity from renewable energies is not available.

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