Rape, solar systems and wind turbine symbolize the energy transition; source: BMWi/Holger Vonderlind

© BMWi/Holger Vonderlind

On 8 July 2016, the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat adopted far-reaching decisions on energy policy. The legislation tabled by Economic Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel on the continued development of renewable energy and of the electricity market, as well as on digitisation has now been brought to a successful conclusion. This means that all of the key legislative projects on electricity that formed part of Minister Gabriel’s 10-Point Energy Agenda have been completed within the prescribed period.

Minister Gabriel said: “The decisions taken by the German Bundestag and the Bundesrat today bring to a conclusion what we set out to do ever since the beginning of this parliament. We have now put in place all of the essentials of the framework we need in order for the next phase of the energy transition to be able to start. This is the biggest reform of the electricity market since the deregulation of the 1990s. We are creating a clear regulatory framework under which the level of capacity maintained will be that demanded by the customers – no more, but also no less. This will ensure energy security in an efficient manner. By reforming the Renewable Energy Sources Act, we are making renewable energy fit for the electricity market. We are moving over from administratively set prices to competitive auctions. The legislation also enables us to ensure that the high level of market-player diversity that has characterised the energy transition will be upheld. We are raising the share of renewables in electricity consumption from its current level of 33% to 45% by the year 2025.

The Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Transition marks the beginning of the smart grid, smart meter and smart home in Germany. The introduction of smart metering systems will provide a secure communications platform which will make the electricity system fit for the energy transition. We are laying a heavy focus on data security – we have introduced the strictest rules in Europe.

In order to achieve our climate targets, we are placing 13% of Germany’s lignite-fired capacity on ‘security stand-by’, with subsequent decommissioning .”

Further information on the legislation that has now been adopted can be found at the following links:

To find out more about current German energy policy, please consult our fortnightly newsletter ‘Energiewende direkt’.