The Federal Cabinet today adopted the so-called Easter Package at the proposal of Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Robert Habeck. The Easter Package is the largest energy policy revision for decades. The Easter package extensively revises various energy laws in an effort to expedite and consistently drive forward the expansion of renewable energy sources.
said: "The Easter Package is an accelerator for the expansion of renewable energy. Within less than a decade, we will almost double the share of renewables in gross energy consumption. We are tripling the pace of the expansion of renewables - at sea, on land, and on rooftops. In the future, renewable energy will be vital to public interest and serve to protect public security. This is crucial to increase the pace of the expansion. Overall, the Easter Package is creating the conditions for boosting Germany’s energy security and energy sovereignty. At the same time, it lays the foundations for Germany to become climate-neutral."
Minister Habeck also went on to say the following: "The Easter package is part of our agenda and we have been working flat out over the past months to put it together. It has now been given a double urgency in the face of Russia’s illegal attack on Ukraine. On the one hand, there is the climate crisis that is coming to a head. On the other, Russia’s invasion shows how important it is to exit from fossil fuels and consistently press ahead with the expansion of renewables. And we are doing that in a bold and consistent manner."
The Easter Package adopted today by the Federal Cabinet will now be submitted to the German Bundestag and, as a next step, will then enter the parliamentary legislative process. It is an omnibus bill, which includes the following specific laws that are detailed across more than 500 pages:
- the Renewable Energy Sources Act (RES Act, or EEG),
- the Offshore Wind Energy Act,
- the Energy Industry Act,
- the Federal Requirements Plan Act,
- the Grid Expansion Acceleration Act (NABEG) and
- further laws and ordinances in the field of energy legislation.
What specific measures does the Easter package include?
- At the heart of the package is the principle that the use of renewable energy is in the overriding public interest and serves public security. The expansion of renewable energy on land and at sea will be raised to an entirely new level. By 2030, at least 80% of German gross electricity consumption is to be covered by renewables.
- Comprehensive measures will be taken to drive forward the expansion of renewables. For example, new areas will be made available for the expansion of photovoltaics, the participation of municipalities in onshore wind and photovoltaics will be extended, more low-wind sites will be developed, and the policy environment for the expansion of roof-top PV installations will be improved.
- In future, the expansion of offshore wind energy will be based on two equal pillars. In addition to the invitation of bids for sites that have already been investigated, bids will also be invited in future for sites which have not been subject to a preliminary investigation.
- The expansion of renewable energy and the grids will be speeded up as barriers are removed and planning and approval procedures are streamlined.
- The Federal Requirements Plan for the expansion of the transmission systems is being updated and new projects are being included in it so that the grids can keep pace with the expansion of renewable energy.
- The abolition of the EEG surcharge (which subsidises renewable energy via the electricity price) will also massively simplify the rules for consumption of self-produced electricity and make a big contribution to reducing the amount of bureaucracy in energy law.
- The rights of the end-users and the supervisory powers of the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency) over energy suppliers will be strengthened in order to give even better protection to electricity and gas consumers.