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Wind Power in Germany

According to the draft Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources the target for the share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy in the year 2020 for Germany is 18% (European Parliament legislative resolution of 17 December 2008). The share renewable electricity in total gross electricity consumption amounted to 17% in 2010 (16,3% in 2009 and 15,1% in 2008).

The share of renewable heat of total heat supply amounted to 9,5% in 2010 (8,9% in 2009 and 7,3% in 2008). With around 100,3 TWh, biomass is by far the largest source of renewable heat, followed by biomass from waste with 11,9 TWh. Deep geothermal and near surface geothermal energy contributed 5,6 TWh in 2010  (4,9 TWh in 2009) and solar thermal sources 5,2 TWh (4,7 TWh in 2009).

The total share of renewable transport fuels to fuel supply amounts to 5,8% in 2010 (5.5% in 2009 and 5,9% in 2008). Biogenic fuels contributed 35,7 TWh to energy supply in 2010  (33.8 TWh in 2009). Biodiesel holds the major share in total biofuel supply 26,5 TWh (25,9 TWh in 2009). Bioethanol contributes with 8,5 TWh, and vegetable oil with 0,6 TWh to renewable fuel supply.

Renewable energy policy

Renewable energy policy in Germany is primarily governed by the following policies and legislation on national level: The Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz – EEG), the Renewable Energies Heat Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Wärmegesetz  - EEWärmeG), the Biomass Ordinance (Biomasseverordnung -BiomasseV), the National Biomass Action plan (2009) and the Law on Biofuels (Biokraftstoffquotengesetz).

The EEG is the main support instrument for electricity, the EEWärmeG governs heating and cooling, and contains an obligation to use renewable heat sources in new buildings. The BiomasseV covers bioenergy, the National Biomass Action Plan describes the German government’s strategies towards promoting bioenergy use in the heating, electricity and fuel sectors, and the measures it intends to take in implementing them and the law on biofuels consists of a partial taxation associated with a quota policy. A progress report is filed on a bi-annual basis reporting to the German Parliament. The report monitors status and progress of renewable energy legislation and implementation. It evaluates the actual development against the official targets and recommends feed-in tariff adjustments. This evaluation is based on indicators of installed capacity, on the number of tons of CO2 prevented and on the creation of jobs.

Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG)

The Renewable energy sources Act (Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz, EEG) is the main support instrument for renewable electricity in Germany. Since 2000 the objective of the EEG has been to increase the share of total power supply that is derived from renewables. The EEG first came into operation on April 1st, 2000. The Act was revised on August 1, 2004, adopted on July 21st, 2004). For the year 2009 new amendments were made to the Act (adopted on June 6th, 2008). On June 30, 2011 the German Parliament has passed the novelized EEG, and with the decision of the second chamber (Bundesrat) from July 8, 2011 the legislation process was completed. The new regulations enter into force on January 1, 2012.  The EEG relies on several basic principles:

·         Electricity from renewable sources is supported through a feed-in tariff

·         All relevant technologies (PV, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass, hydro) are eligible

·         Tariffs are differentiated according to technology, size of installation, date of commissioning (or rely on the market volume in the previous year as in the case of photovoltaic power).

·         Feed-in tariffs are normally guaranteed and fixed for a period of 20 years plus the year of commissioning of the installation.

·         Feed-in tariffs are subject to an annual degression (i.e. the tariff is each year decreasing with a certain percentage for new installations) in order to compensate for technology learning effects (through economies of scale and efficient production and conversion) depending on the year of commissioning and the energy source used.

·         The EEG does not limit the total annual electricity production or the total installed capacity to be covered by the feed-in tariff (breathing cap).

·         The scheme is not financed by governmental budget, but by allocation to the final end consumer. The costs of the feed-in tariffs are borne by the final consumers.

·         Additional boni are paid for the compliance with further quality criteria and further fiscal measures to support RES-E installations can be combined with the tariff

·         Grid operators are obliged to accept renewable power and to pay fixed tariffs to the producers.

·         Systems for the generation of electricity from renewable sources shall be given priority connection to the grid

The EEG 2012 takes over the national targets as outlined in the Integrated Energy and Climate Protection Programme (IEKP). For electricity the minimum targets in renewable energy consumption are set at 35% by 2020, 65% by 2040, and 80% by 2050. Plants operational before 2012 are subject to EEG 2009 regulations. According to the governing Coalition Treaty between CDU/CSU and FDP and in order to reach the installation targets on the one hand and to avoid promotional excess on the other hand, the compensation scheme will be revised and, if necessary, adjusted depending on technological progress and market development. Additional testing is to take place in 3-year cycles (peviously 4 years). A progress report was published in 2011 by the Environment ministry (BMU). This progress report formed the basis of the legislative process for the EEG 2012.

The new EEG 2012 maintains the basic structure, objectives and principles of its earlier versions but various changes can be observed versus the EEG 2009: The most prominent ones are more attractive re-powering arrangements, improved conditions for offshore wind power, an improved grid integration structure for installations generating electricity from renewable energies. Also the EEG2012 provides new regulations for market, grid and system integration of renewable energy sources (optional market premium, a flexibility premium (for biogas plants), compensation regulations in case systems need to be disconnected from the grid, the support of storage technologies, and provisions for  direct marketing of electricity.

EEG 2012 Feed-in Tariffs

Support level 2012 in €ct/kWh

Duration of tariff payment

Annual degression (in %)

Additional bonus

Hydro > 5 MW*

6,30 to 12,70

20 years



Hydro < 5 MW*

3,40 to 5,50

20 years



Wind onshore***

4,87 to 8,93

20 years

1,5% from 2012

Repowering bonus
System services bonus

Wind offshore***

3,5 (basic tariff)
15,00 (higher initial traiff)
19,00 (initial tariff in acceleration model)

20 years
(acceleration model: 12 years)

7% from 2018   

Sprinter bonus

Biomas Solid*

6,00 to 14,30

20 years


Technology bonus for certain material classes

Sewage gas

5,89 to 6,79

20 years


Technology bonus for certain material classes

Landfill gas

5,89 to 8,60

20 years



Mine gas

3,98 to 6,84

20 years




25,00 (+5,00)

20 years

0% until 2017
5% from 2018

Additional bonus for electricty from petrothermal technlogy

Solar PV****

17,94 to 24,43

20 years

9% (15% for 2012)

Bonus regulations for own consumption

<30 kW


20 years

9% (15% for 2012)

12,43 for own consumption larger than 30%, otherwise 8,05

30 -100 kW


20 years

9% (15% for 2012)

11,23 for own consumption larger than 30%, otherwise 6,85

>100 kW


20 years

9% (15% for 2012)

9,98 for own consumption larger than 30%, otherwise 5,60

> 1000 kW


20 years

9% (15% for 2012)


Free-Standing/ground mounted installations


20 years

9% (15% for 2012)


Free-standing on converted land


20 years

9% (15% for 2012)

Free-standing on agricultural land

 no longer supported

* Basic tariff only
**  additional bonus for electricty from petrothermal technology
*** increased initial tariff
**** Flexible Degression depending on annual market volume, 9% if installation between 2500 – 3500 MW / breathing cap: degression depending on market volume in preceding year

Renewable electricity: Wind power

Significant changes have taken place in all renewable sectors: (electricity, heat, and transport fuels) in 2010 and 2011. In general the support system was continued in the EEG2012 but with some modifications:  Regarding wind power, some important changes have occured through the EEG 2012 update which became operational on January 1st, 2012




·         The system services bonus of 0,48 ct/kWh was extended until the end of 2014

·         The re-powering Bonus of 0,5 ct/kWh was extended on the one hand, but limited to plants installed before 2002

·         The Annual degression was raised by 0,5% to 1,5%

·         Wind systems up to 50 kW receive the higher initial tariff of 8,93 ct/kWh


An overview of the onshore feed-in tariffs and the expected changes in coming years can be seen from the table below

·         Annual degression rate: 1,5%

·         Duration of payments: 20 years


9)    The higher initial tariff is paid for five years.

10)  The system services bonus for new installations is paid for the same period as the higher initial tariff,  provided these installations are commissioned prior to 31 December 2015. 

11)  The repowering bonus for the replacement of existing wind energy installations on the same or on an  adjacent site is paid for the same period as the higher initial tariff, provided the replaced installations were commissioned prior to 1  January 2002. 

12)  The reference yield calculation does not apply to small-scale wind installations of no more than 50  MW. For these installations a reference yield of 60 percent is assumed. This means that they are eligible for the initial tariff for the entire tariff payment period.



·         Improved conditions for offshore include a sprinter (early starter) bonus that was integrated to the initial tariff and is now 15 ct/kWh until the end of 2015)

·         The annual degression was postponed from 2015 to 2018

·         The annual degression increased from 5 to 7%

·         The EEG 2012 provides an optional acceleration model for operators. Until the end of 2017 operators  can choose between a feed-in over 12 years with  15 ct/kWh, or 8 years and  19 ct/kWh.


An overview of the offshore feed-in tariffs and the expected changes in coming years can be seen from the table below.

·         Degression rate until 2017: 0.0 %, from 2018: 7 %

·         Duration of tariff payment 20 years (acceleration model: 12 years)

13)  the higher initial tariff for offshore wind energy is paid for the first 12 years from the date of commissioning of an installation. The period is extended by 5 months for each full nautical mile beyond 12 nautical miles that the installation is located from the shore and by 1.7 months for each full metre of water depth over 20 metres. In the case of the acceleration model the same tariff as for the "normal" tariff model shall be paid for the extension period calculated using distance from the coast and water depth.

Future programme changes expected

See tables above


Important notice: The legal texts which can be accessed on the internet are not the official versions. Only the versions published in the Federal Law Gazette (Bundesgesetzblatt, BGBl), are legally binding.


Biomass Ordinance 2011:, as of: July 2011 and Amendment to the Biomass Ordinance, as of 1 January 2012, sourced October 2011.

BMU 2007/2009/2011: Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) Progress Reports, available at
BMU 2009: The Renewable Energies Heat Act in brief (sourced January 2009)

BSW Solar 2012: Solarstromförderung aktuell, ,  (sourced January 2012)

BWE 2012: Vergütung der Windenergie an Land, Factsheet Bundesverband Windenergie, , (sourced January 2012)

DBFZ / BMU 2011:  Vorbereitung und Begleitung der Erstellung des Erfahrungsberichtes 2011 gemäß § 65 EEG, im Auftrag des BMU, Vorhaben IIa , Endbericht ,  Deutsches Biomasse Forschungszentrum, June 2011,, sourced October 2011.

Directive 2009/28/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2009 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources,

EEG Aktuell : (Latest changes to the EEG,  and download section, mostly in German)

EEG 2012 : Act on granting priority to renewable energy sources (Renewable Energy Sources Act – EEG) Gesetz für den Vorrang Erneuerbarer Energien ("Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz" – EEG), Consolidated (non-binding) version of the Act in the version applicable as at 1 January 2012, , (sourced January 2012)

EEG 2012 : Tariffs and sample degression rates pursuant to the new Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz - EEG) as of 25 October 2008 with amendments of 4. August 2011, Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU),, (sourced January 2012)

EEG 2009 : "Renewable Energy Sources Act of 25 October 2008 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 2074) as last amended by the Act of 11 August 2010 (Federal Law Gazette I p. 1170)",  Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU),
(sourced January 2011).

EEG 2009 : Tariffs and sample degression rates pursuant to the new Renewable Energy Sources Act (Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz - EEG) as of 25 October 2008 with amendments of 11. August 2010, Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Reaktorsicherheit (BMU) - (sourced January 2011)


EurObserv'ER Wind Energy Barometer,, February 2009

EurObserv'ER Wind Energy Barometer,, February 2010

EurObserv'ER Wind Energy Barometer,, February 2011

Renewable Energy Projections as Published in the National Renewable Energy Action Plans of the European Member States, (sourced December 2010)

RES Legal: website on legislation on renewable energy generation,

Interactive EurObserv’ER Database
Last update: January 2012

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The EurObserv'ER barometer is a project supported by the European Commission within the DG ENER 'Intelligent Energy Europe' programme and by Ademe, the French Environment and Energy management Agency. The EurObserv'ER Barometer is the result of the investigation and research work of its authors. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.