German Electricity Feed Law

as valid after amendment since April 29, 1998

(translation giving the general sense)


Section 1
Scope of Application

This act shall regulate the purchase and price of electricity generated exclusively from hydro power, wind energy, solar energy, landfill gas, sewage gas, or biomass in the area of validity of this act by public electricity utilities. It shall not cover electricity

  1. from hydro-power stations, landfill gas or sewage gas facilities or from facilities in which electricity is generated from biomass with an installed generator output of over 5 MW and
  2. from facilities, over 25 % of which belongs to the Federal Republic of Germany, a Land, public electricity utilities or companies affiliated to them as defined in section 15 of the Stock Corporation Act, unless electricity from the facilities cannot be fed into an area supplied by these companies.


Section 2
Duty to Purchase the Electricity

Electricity utilities which operate a system for the general supply are obliged to purchase the electricity generated from renewable energies in their supply area and to pay for the electricity fed into the system pursuant to section 3. For electricity from generation facilities not located in the area supplied by a system operator, this obligation shall apply to the utility which has the system suitable for receiving the electricity located closest to the site of the facility. Extra costs arising from sections 2 and 4 can be allocated in accounts to distribution or transmission and can be included in the setting of the price for third-party access.


Section 3
Level of the Price

(1) For electricity from hydro power, landfill gas, sewage gas and biomass, the price shall amount to at least 80 % of the average revenue per kWh from the delivery of electricity by electricity utilities to all final consumers. For a hydro-power station, a landfill gas or sewage gas facility with an output of more than 500 kW, this shall apply only to that part of the electricity fed in in the relevant accounting year which corresponds to the ratio of 500 kW to the capacity of the facility in kilowatts; the capacity shall be ascertained by the annual average of the maximum actual power measured in the individual months. The price for the remaining electricity shall amount to at least 65 % of the average revenue pursuant to sentence 1.

(2) For electricity from solar energy and wind energy, the payment shall be at least 90 % of the average revenue mentioned in paragraph 1 sentence 1.

(3) The average revenue applying to paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be the figure published in the official statistics of the Federation for the respective calendar year before last, excluding turnover tax, in Pfennigs per kilowatt-hour. When calculating the price pursuant to paragraphs 1 and 2, the amount shall be rounded to two places behind the decimal point.


Section 4
Hardship Clause

(1) To the extent that the kilowatt-hours to be paid for under this act exceed 5 % of the total kilowatt-hours sold by the electricity utility via its supply system in a calendar year, the upstream system operator shall be obliged to reimburse the extra costs arising from the kilowatt-hours exceeding the proportion to the electricity utility purchasing the electricity. In the case of upstream system operators, these extra costs shall include the burden of the right to reimbursement pursuant to sentence 1. If there is no upstream system operator, the electricity utility to which the preconditions listed in sentences 1 and 2 pertain shall be relieved of the obligation contained in section 2 sentence 1 from the beginning of the calendar year following the time when these preconditions take effect for facilities which at that time were to a substantial extent net yet erected, for wind power facilities, this applies to the erection of the mast and the rotor.

(2) The obligations pursuant to sections 2 and 3 shall not apply to the extent that adherence to them represents an unfair hardship even when the reimbursement rule pursuant to paragraph 1 has been applied. In this case, the obligation shall be transferred to the upstream system operator.

(3) A case of unfair hardship shall particularly exist when the electricity utility would have to increase its electricity delivery prices tangibly above the prices of equivalent or upstream electricity utilities.

(4) The Federal Ministry for Economics shall report to the German Bundestag at the latest in 1999, but in any case in sufficiently good time, about the impact of the hardship clause, so that before the consequences pursuant to paragraph 1 sentence 3 take effect, a different compensation rule can be made.


Section 4a
Voluntary Commitment in Favour of Renewable Energies and the Production of Combined Heat and Power

(1) The Federal Government shall encourage the electricity utilities to enter into voluntary commitments for additional measures to increase the proportion of electricity generation from renewable energies and from the production of combined heat and power.

(2) The Federal Government may, after hearing the groups involved, stipulate objectives to be achieved within an appropriate period. In each case, it will report to the German Bundestag after two years.


Section 5
Entry into Force

This act shall enter into force on 1 January 1991.