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German Energy Report: Electricity Generated From Renewables Continues To Grow

The Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt have published their joint Monitoring Report on the main developments in the German electricity and gas markets in 2015. “Electricity consumers in Germany continue to benefit from having a large number of suppliers. Approximately four million household customers switched electricity supplier in 2015. That is about 231,000 more than in the previous year,” said Jochen Homann, Bundesnetzagentur President. Just under 13% of commercial and industrial customers switched their electricity supplier in 2015. This is the highest figure since monitoring started in 2006.

Andreas Mundt, Bundeskartellamt President: “The electricity wholesale markets were still marked by high liquidity in 2015 and this encouraged more suppliers to enter the market and greater supplier diversity on the retail markets. Consequently, there is no longer any single dominant supplier in either of the two largest electricity retail markets. Hence the market power of the largest producers of electricity by conventional means remains below the level set in 2010.”

Electricity generation from conventional sources is continuing to decrease in favour of electricity from renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, some conventional power plants have been put into operation, which means that despite the decommissioning of power plants there has been growth in this area. In future, however, the excess capacity of conventional power plants will be reduced further,” Homann added with respect to energy transition developments. Electricity generation from renewable energy sources rose by 26 TWh compared to 2014. More than 80% of this growth came from onshore (15 TWh) and offshore wind power generation (6.7 TWh). Electricity generation from conventional energy sources decreased 15 TWh on the previous year.

Generation capacity in 2015 rose overall to 204.6 GW (2014: 196.3 GW), of which 106.7 GW is attributable to conventional and 97.9 GW to renewable energy sources. The increase in conventional capacity is primarily a result of the long-term nature of the power plant construction projects that were agreed to, before the energy transition policy.

Following a slight decrease in electricity prices to household customers last year, prices rose again slightly as of 1 April 2016. Household customers pay an average price of 30.63 ct/kWh for default supply services. Prices for the two other customer groups, that is, those with a special contract with their default supplier or holding a contract with a supplier other than the default supplier, also rose slightly. In contrast, electricity prices for non-household customers have tended to decline.

In the gas market consumer prices were still markedly in decline as of 1 April 2016. The average price for household customers across all contracts has fallen by about 2.1% and is now 6.54 ct/kWh. However, default tariffs are about 0.6 ct/kWh more expensive than non-default contracts with the same default supplier and about 0.5 ct/kWh more expensive than contracts with a supplier other than the local default supplier.

Andreas Mundt, Bundeskartellamt President: “Industrial customers, in particular, have noted a considerable decrease in gas prices. This has been facilitated by a fall in wholesale prices once again and by the fact that suppliers on the biggest retail markets are faced with nationwide competition. In addition, on-exchange gas trading volumes rose significantly again in 2015.

As in previous years, publication of the report marks the continuation of the close and effective cooperation between the Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt in monitoring and analysing trends in these markets. Energy Monitoring Report 2016 published by the Bundesnetzagentur and the Bundeskartellamt.

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