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Wind farm in Brandenburg: "I don't meet any energy minister in the federal states who still approves of this historically grown system"

Photo: Patrick Pleul / dpa

The Federal Network Agency has spoken out in favour of an electricity price reform with lower fees for regions with a lot of wind power. The President of the authority, Klaus Müller, told the "Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung" that there was a draft law in the Bundestag that would authorize the network agency to introduce fair network charges: "As soon as the law is passed, we will make a proposal for the reform." So far, regions that have increasingly relied on wind power have been financially burdened.

"I don't meet any energy minister in the federal states who still approves of this historically grown system," Müller said. Regions in southern Germany, where many wind turbines are installed and connected to the grid, are also affected. According to his impression, the energy ministers of all federal states stand behind his reform plans. "Because it is obvious that we should reward the expansion of renewables. I can well understand the frustration of many citizens and regions about this."

A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of Economics said that the goal must be to make the expansion-related network costs between the regions fair. To this end, European requirements must be observed. "At the same time, we are committed to a close dialogue with and between the federal states." According to a ruling by the European Court of Justice, the network fees must be set by an independent regulatory authority. In Germany, this is the network agency. In May, the cabinet introduced an amendment to the Energy Industry Act.

An electricity price reform has been discussed for some time. Federal states in the north with a comparatively high production of renewable energies see themselves at a disadvantage because they pay higher costs than in the south of Germany due to the necessary grid expansion. Schleswig-Holstein's Minister of Economic Affairs, Claus Ruhe Madsen, said in June: "It cannot be that you pay the highest grid fees in northern Germany, because we produce the energy there and ensure that the electricity ultimately comes south."

On the other hand, Bavaria's Prime Minister Markus Söder said in May that it could not be that electricity was more expensive in the south and cheaper in the north.

Klaus Müller is also pushing for a faster expansion of green energy. This applies to wind, solar and biomass plants as well as grids: "This means that the hurdles for approval and construction must be further lowered. Monument and nature conservation must also contribute to this.« Due to the lack of power grids, billions of euros have been incurred for years in nonsensical costs for citizens and companies. Probably the biggest challenge lies in the expansion of renewable energies and power grids: "I see the decisive course being set in the construction of new gas-fired power plants that can be converted to hydrogen and the hydrogen nuclear network."

At the same time, Müller expressed confidence that the industry could be supplied with sufficient climate-neutral energy at competitive prices in a few years and that deindustrialization could be prevented. »Many companies tell me: We can do it.«