German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE)

The German Renewable Energy Federation (BEE) is the umbrella organization for German renewable energy associations. Our federation was founded in 1991 and represents the overall interests of the renewable energy industry in the political and public sphere. Our 30 member organizations unite the sectors of wind and solar energy, biomass, water power and geothermal energy and represent a total of over 30 000 individual members and companies.

BEE’s long-term goal is the transition to a system based on 100 per cent renewable energy. Our tasks include the improvement of basic legal conditions for renewable energy, for example prioritizing renewable energy over other energy sources. We arrange consultations with MPs, political groups and other organizations. To promote awareness of renewable energy among the public, media and experts, we commission studies and publish response statements to legislative proposals.

The German Energiewende

The energy transition is focused on three different areas: electricity, heating/cooling and mobility. The German system promotes the expansion of renewable energy with feed-in tariffs. The main legal instrument here is the German Renewable Energy Act (EEG). Producers are guaranteed access to the grid and a fixed amount of remuneration for their renewable energy. The system has led to a massive increase in renewable energy generation. In 2014, renewable energy plants generated 25,8 per cent of power – more than any other energy source did. The 2020 target is set at 35 per cent. The German Ministry for Economics and Energy published a Green Paper in 2014 which tackles the question of how the future energy market ought to be designed. The consultation period is ongoing until March 2015.

The Renewable Energy Heating Act sets targets for 2020 and the Market Incentive Program regulates financial support for renovations. The share of renewable heat is supposed to reach 14 per cent by 2020. It is currently at 9,9 per cent (2014). Renewable technologies for heating systems include solar collectors, heat pumps, cogeneration or biomass-fired furnaces. Alternatively, building insulation improves energy efficiency. Regulations differ for existing and new buildings.

The energy transition affects traffic in two ways: bioenergy and electro-mobility. The two technologies are differently implemented. Using biofuels instead of fossil fuels reduces carbon emissions. Biofuels should reach a share of about 12 per cent of all fuels by 2020. In 2014, the share was at roughly 6 per cent. Promoting e-mobility lowers our dependency on oil and gas imports. The government’s goal is set at one million e-cars by 2020. Just as power and heat, a transition in the traffic sector follows the principle: for a sustainable system, total energy consumption has to go down. For that, public transport plays a vital role.

Film about the German Renewable Energy Revolution

Keep on Track!

BEE is a supporter of the project Keep on Track! It aims at monitoring that the actual development of renewable energy in the EU towards the 2020 target is not lagging behind the trajectory outlined in the RES Directive.

Following the experience already gathered during the IEE project REPAP2020, Keep on track! offers market, legal and political advice and recommendations for EU Member States either to stay or to get on track with the objectives set.

This will be done via:

  • a platform for discussion and dialogue among different market actors ranging from renewable energy industry associations to national and EU Parliamentarians and the scientific community
  • provision of a close-to-market monitoring of the fulfilment of the RES trajectory for each of the 28 EU Member States
  • early warnings and suggested solutions on how to compensate any possible delay encountered, in case a Member State is lagging behind its trajectory and does not manage to overcome identified barriers for RES deployment

More information on www.keepontrack.eu