Federal government agrees on industrial electricity price
In Germany, industry pays very high prices for energy by international standards.
After several months of intensive discussions about an industrial electricity price, the German government has announced that it will reduce the price of electricity for industry by reforming the electricity tax, according to several media reports.
According to information from the German Press Agency, plans include a significant reduction in electricity tax for the manufacturing industry and an extension of the current electricity price compensation for companies that suffer particularly from high electricity prices. The tax for the manufacturing sector “from SMEs to industry will be reduced to the EU minimum in 2024 and 2025”, Justice Minister Marco Buschmann (FDP) wrote on the X internet service. There will be no intervention in the market.
According to ZDF, the electricity tax is to be reduced from the current level of around 2% to the European minimum of 0.05%. This would not only benefit large industrial groups, but also small and medium-sized enterprises. According to information from ZDF, 350 companies that are particularly exposed to international competition and suffer from high electricity prices are to receive additional aid. The existing electricity price compensation is to be extended and expanded for five years.
In Germany, industry pays very high prices for energy by international standards. A megawatt hour here costs three times as much as in the USA or Canada, while Germany is in the middle of the field in Europe. Several companies have been thinking aloud about relocating production to countries where energy prices are more affordable.
According to ZDF, Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) had therefore already suggested in May that the price of electricity for industry should be artificially lowered through state subsidies. This should be done temporarily until 2030 - until renewable energies are developed to such an extent that electricity prices fall on their own. Cost point: around 25 to 30 billion euros.
Industrial electricity price criticised
However, the Green politician's plans have been sharply criticised because only around 2,500 particularly energy-intensive companies would benefit from the low prices. Medium-sized businesses, many tradesmen and smaller companies would go away empty-handed. There was also a risk of the state supporting an industry that was not fit for the future.
In a ZDF interview on 2 August, Monika Schnitzer, an economist, said that an industrial electricity price could slow down the urgently needed structural change. Other economists expressed similar views, doubting, for example, that electricity would ever become really cheap, even with a significant expansion of renewable energies.