Feed-in Tariffs for Small Hydropower
Ecologic Institute provides a legal opinion on financial support for modernised small hydropower under the feed-in tariff scheme of the revised German Renewable Energy Act (EEG 2009). The costs for modernisation fulfilling the requirements of the feed-in tariff are frequently so high that they cannot be recovered by the feed-in tariff for one small hydropower installation alone. In its legal opinion for the environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe and the association "Buero am Fluss e.V., Ecologic Institute analyses whether each operator participating in joint measures could be entitled to claim the feed-in tariff even if the joint measures were not implemented at each and every installation.
The feed-in tariff for small hydropower requires that the modernisation achieves “good ecological status” of the water or that the ecological status has considerably improved. In the frequent case that the costs for such modernisation cannot be recovered by the feed-in tariff for one small hydropower installation, the operator has no incentive to modernise the installation. In order to resolve this problem, the environmental organisation Deutsche Umwelthilfe launched a pilot project: The idea is that several operators of small hydropower can jointly implement measures that improve the ecological status of the water with regard to at least one installation. The operators share the costs of such joint measures. In its legal opinion, Ecologic Institute analyses whether such joint modernisation measures can be eligible for the feed-in tariff.