The Bundesrat today passed the largest energy policy revision for decades. The total package of over 593 pages includes five amendments to the laws on the expansion of renewable sources of energy. The package also includes two additional instruments that can be deployed at short notice in the event of a further deterioration of the situation on the energy markets: the Act on the Maintenance of Substitute Power Stations and the Energy Security Act.

Vice-Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Robert Habeck commented: “The number and scope of the draft laws clearly show how important the issues of energy and energy security have become for Germany and for Europe and how important they are for the security, freedom and prosperity of our Republic. We have adopted the largest acceleration package for the expansion of renewable energy in decades. Within less than a decade, we will almost double the share of renewable energy in gross electricity consumption. We are tripling the pace of the expansion of renewable energy across the board: on water, on land and on roofs. Renewables are in the public interest and will help to ensure security of supply. This is crucial to increase the pace of the expansion. It heralds the beginning of a new stage in our efforts to step up climate action and safeguard Germany’s strength as a hub for industry."

"In parallel, we are expanding our set of instruments as we prepare ourselves for a further deterioration of the situation on the energy markets. The situation on the gas market is tense and unfortunately, we cannot rule out that it will worsen in the future. This is why we are refining our instruments and preparing ourselves. The priority is to do everything possible to maintain the basic supply in the coming winter and to keep the energy markets up and running as long as possible, despite high prices and growing risks”, Habeck added.

The energy package adopted today by the Bundesrat includes five legislative amendments relating to the expansion of renewable energy and the associated acceleration of grid expansion. These are as follows:

  • The revision of the Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) which sets out new expansion targets and volumes and defines measures for achieving these targets.
  • The revision of the Offshore Wind Energy Act (WindSeeG) which increases the volumes of offshore wind energy up for auction and redesigns the funding regime depending on the respective types of area with the aim of significantly accelerating the expansion of renewables.
  • The "Act to Increase and Accelerate the Expansion of Onshore Wind Energy Installations" (Onshore Wind Energy Law – WindBG and Building Code – BauGB) implements the requirements of the coalition agreement to make two per cent of federal land available for onshore wind energy installations. These new area targets will be incorporated into construction planning law through an amendment to the Building Code.
  • The amendment to the Federal Nature Conservation Act (BNatSchG) will help to further expedite and simplify approval procedures.
    The Energy Industry Act (EnWG) particularly defines rules for measures to accelerate grid expansion (Grid Expansion Acceleration Act – NABEG) for both the transmission and distribution networks.

In addition to the five laws on the expansion of renewables, there are two other major amendments defining precautionary measures:

  • In order to lower gas consumption in power generation, the German government’s recently adopted Act on the Maintenance of Substitute Power Stations (EKBG) provides for various options to force gas-fired power plants out of the market.
  • The modifications to be made to the Energy Security Act (EnSiG) will expand the set of instruments available to prepare Germany for an escalation of the situation on the gas market. The overarching goal of these instruments is to maintain the market mechanisms and supply chains for gas for as long as possible and to prevent cascading effects.

An overview of all the changes adopted can be found here.