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Skimming off »accidental profits«: Electricity price brakes are unconstitutional according to an expert opinion

2022-11-24T14:19:58.667Z

The government plans to co-finance the electricity price brake by skimming off war-related surpluses. According to an expert opinion, however, this could violate EU law.



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Kettle: In order to co-finance the electricity price brake, "accidental profits" are to be skimmed off by companies

Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst / dpa

According to an expert opinion, the federal government's planned electricity price brake with a skimming off of surplus income from the energy industry caused by war and crises is unconstitutional.

The draft law violates EU law and violates the property guarantee, said the Hamburg energy supplier Lichtblick with reference to a commissioned legal opinion.

A draft law by the Chancellery, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economics stipulates that "accidental profits" from companies on the electricity market will be skimmed off retrospectively from September 1 until at least the end of June next year in order to co-finance the electricity price brake.

This affects producers of green electricity from wind and sun, for example, who have recently benefited from high prices on the stock exchange.

The background to this is the sharp rise in gas prices and the pricing mechanism on the electricity market.

»Profound Distortions«

"The planned skimming mechanism will lead to far-reaching distortions in the German electricity market," says Lichtblick.

The consequences of these developments are rising electricity prices for consumers, an obstacle to the further expansion of renewable energy plants and, in individual cases, the insolvency of plant operators.

First, the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung" reported on the report.

Sharp criticism of the draft law, which is currently still being coordinated within the federal government, also came from the Federal Association of Renewable Energies.

When asked by the dpa, President Simone Peter said: “There are considerable constitutional and European law concerns.

Retrospective interventions in economic processes have already been decided several times as clearly unconstitutional.« The association had already stated that a wave of lawsuits was to be expected.

The German chemical industry does not consider the price brakes on electricity and gas in the form planned by the federal government to be sufficient to save energy-intensive companies.

The funding limits are too low for larger industrial companies, and there is also a high level of bureaucracy and the obligation to make large provisions, said the managing director of the VCI chemical association, Wolfgang Große Entrup.

"Enormous structural breaks in Germany's industrial landscape can only be prevented by rescuing the particularly energy-intensive basic industry." If the support does not reach the chemical industry, the government will not be able to achieve its goal of preventing structural breaks.

ani/dpa/Reuters

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2022-11-24

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