By Michael Krueger
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)
Germany’s Federal Ministry for Commerce And Energy (BMWi) presents a brochure every year with the feed-in act in figures. The brochure lists the costs of the Energiewende (energy transition) in detail. Germany’s EEG feed-in act total subsidy for supporting the Energiewende and expanding renewable energies in 2014 cost approx. 24 billion euros. In 2015 the cost is projected to be some 27 billion euros. From the BMWi figures, it is clear that the major cost driver in Germany’s Energiewende is photovoltaic power.
The following table lists the photovoltaic (PV) power produced in the years 2000-2015 (which was subsidized by the EEG), the average EEG subsidy per kilowatt-hour of solar energy 2000-2015, and the total EEG subsidy for solar energy for PV power ín billions of euros 2000-2015.
The total EEG subsidies paid for PV power rose from 0.015 billion euros in 2000 to almost 11 billion euros in 2015! This is increase is completely due to the installation of total PV capacity shown by the blue bars in the following chart.
The red bars in the above chart show the total subsidies paid each year for PV power. 2015 will see close to 11 billion euros paid in subsidies to support solar power. The heavy black line shows the amount of new installations. New PV installations have trailed off since subsidies for solar energy were scaled back in 2012.
Total installed photovoltaic capacity in Germany has risen from 1 GW in 2003 to almost 40 GW today. The average EEG subsidy for PV power has fallen from 50 cents per kilowatt hour to 30 cents today. Thus the addition of PV capacity continues to surpass the significantly reduced EEG subsidy for PV power, which means total subsidies doled out continue to rise.
With 11 billion euros, PV is the major cost driver of the Energiewende, and accounts for 40% of the total EEG subsidies of 27 billion euros to be paid out this year.
For the 11 billion euros in subsidies, about 1 billion euros of power is actually marketed. That means the subsidies cost a net 10 billion euros annually, which power consumers are forced to pay. That turns out to be about 2.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. For an average household that means about 90 euros per year in extra costs.
For the photovoltaic producers, it’s a great business: Many get 50 cents per kilowatt hour (guaranteed 20 years) while the same kilowatt gets sold for only 3 to 4 cents on the market.
Read here to see the impact this has had on German CO2 emissions (none). Is this insanity, or not?