"There are no winners with this regulation, especially municipalities and climate protection will lose"

Ove Petersen, CEO and co-founder of GP JOULE, comments on the German government's plans to siphon off revenues from renewable energy producers

"There are no winners with this regulation, especially municipalities and climate protection will lose"

Reußenköge, 8 November 2022

The Federal Government's plans for an electricity price brake are on the table: Revenues are also to be siphoned off from renewable energy plant operators. This is not a good idea. This is because corporate and trade tax revenues will fall and the ones who will suffer most will be the municipalities. The industry will have fewer investment funds of its own. And investor confidence in the renewable energy market will also suffer massively. In the end, less money is likely to be invested in the expansion of renewables and the expansion will once again be stalled. There is a much better instrument to involve the producers in the financing of the electricity price brake.

90 per cent of the so-called "windfall profits", according to the plan of the

Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Chancellery, are to be skimmed off retroactively. This word itself is already wrong. Because what is to be skimmed off is neither a coincidence for the operators of renewable energy plants (but a development that has been pointed out for years) nor is it profit, but turnover. And it is so much that some producers will not be able to cope. Biogas plant operators, in particular, are likely to simply stop working in view of the sharp increase in operating costs. And the operators of wind and solar plants also have to share the higher income with the landlords and plan for the increased costs of the plants and sharply increased interest rates when developing new projects.

So now, instead of skimming off the revenues, the state should resort to another tried and tested control instrument for such cases: income taxes.

The public sector is already earning money from the higher revenues of energy producers - and that is a good thing! These income taxes can be planned and have already been retroactively adjusted more than once. In other words, a tried and tested means that gives companies the security of knowing that it is not the turnover, but only the profits that are being skimmed off to a greater extent. In other words, what remains after all costs have been deducted.

In addition, tax increases would create incentives for all energy producers to reinvest, which would definitely promote the expansion of renewables.

The opposite would happen with the turnover levy: Companies would have to make provisions. The corporate income tax and trade tax revenues would drop and billions would be lost for the federal budget for the time being. The local authorities would then also suffer. Moreover, the confidence of investors in renewable energies would be shaken. Both would lead to massively declining investments in renewables. And now of all times.

In this crisis, the federal government also prefers to introduce a fuel rebate, stops the planned increase in the CO2 tax and excludes, for example, hard coal and mineral oil power plants from the planned turnover levy. The latter are exempted because they allegedly have cost increases that are too high. Aha, so we guess people listen to such arguments.

This de facto discrimination against renewables must be prevented. We not only have an energy price crisis, but also a worsening climate crisis. Both know only one solution: to rapidly expand renewable energies.

Adjusting the income tax would be a solution that does not ignore the climate crisis, does not place a one-sided burden, is comprehensible, creates planning security for companies and consumers alike - and does not stifle the expansion of renewables.

Because the best electricity price brakes are wind turbines and solar plants.




Founded in 2009 based on the belief that a 100% renewable energy supply is feasible, GP JOULE is now a system provider for integrated energy solutions from solar, wind and biomass power as well as being a partner at the supply level for electricity, heat, hydrogen and electric mobility. GP JOULE is thus a pioneering company in sector cross-linkage. Around 400 people work for the medium-sized group of companies in Germany, Europe and North America. GP JOULE is the winner of the Schleswig-Holstein Business Environment Award 2019 and the German Renewables Award 2020.


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