The energy transition including the necessary expansion of renewable energies is a mammoth task, and it needs the support of society as a whole. Therefore, a new funding guideline called "Citizens' energy companies for onshore wind energy" is being introduced on 1 January 2023. The guideline has already been published in the Federal Gazette.
This initiative focuses on citizens as a driving force for the energy transition. The aim of the programme is to fund the high costs incurred by citizens' energy companies during the planning and approval phase of wind turbine construction. This is intended to reduce the obstacles to setting up citizens' energy companies. In the programme, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action helps fund the costs of the planning and approval phase (70% of the planning and approval costs, up to a maximum of €200,000 per project) for wind turbines built by citizens' energy companies.
The pro-rata financing of the planning and approval costs only has to be repaid if, within two and a half years, the respective onshore wind turbines have received a permit in accordance with the Federal Immission Control Act or won funding in an auction held under the Renewable Energy Sources Act, or if funding granted under the Renewable Energy Sources Act has been registered outside the auction procedure.
In total, the funding for 2023 amounts to €7.5 million, and sums of a similar magnitude are also planned for the following years.
The amendment to the Renewable Energy Sources Act, which came into force on 1 January 2023, also strengthens citizens' energy. As far as possible, wind and solar projects of citizens' energy companies will be exempt from the requirement to participate in auctions. A maximum of 18 megawatts of onshore wind capacity will be up for auction. In addition, the 2023 Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) redefines the term "citizens' energy company" pursuant to section 3 number 15.
The funding programme is implemented by the Federal Office of Economic Affairs and Export Control.
Follow this link to read the announcement of the funding guideline in the Federal Official Gazette (in German):