Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control

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Energy

The Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control has helped drive Germany’s transition to renewable energy for many years. It is entrusted with conducting a variety of tasks to promote the efficient and economical use of energy and the further expansion of renewable energy.

Architectural plan and energy efficiency bar Source: © Fotolia.com/johannesspreter

An economically and ecologically balanced and secure energy supply is of eminent importance for every economy. In pursuing this objective as well as to achieve international targets, e.g. climate protection, and because of the decision to phase out nuclear power, the federal government gives greater priority to a larger share of the renewable energies in the various energy resources and to a rational use of all energy bearers.

Energy Efficiency and Renewables

The National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency (NAPE) is the key focus of measures to increase energy efficiency. It includes a broad range of measures, including in particular investments in energy savings and the consolidation of consultancy and information services. Such measures include the mandatory energy audit for non-SMEs, the national Top Runner Initiative and the National Efficiency Label for old heating systems for example. Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control is responsible for the processing of these programmes. In this context there is as well Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control funding for enterprises and individuals who invest in "Generic Technologies", in energy efficient "Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Systems" or "Heating Pumps", and in "Energy management systems". In addition "Using High-Efficiency combined Heat and Power plants" is promoted.

Under the programmes "Energy Consulting for Medium-sized Businesses", "Energy Consulting for local authorities" and „Local consultations to save energy“ Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control gives grants for consultations by qualified engineers.

A further major focus of Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control's activities is to implement the programme to promote renewable energies of the Federal Environmental Ministry. It is Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control's task to give grants for "Heating with Renewable Energy" (Marktanreizprogram Erneuerbare Energien, MAP) and, thereby, to promote the increasing use of renewable energies in order to conserve the limited resources of fossil fuel and to make a contribution to environmental and climate protection.

As part of the Special Compensation Rule for the Renewable Energy Sources Act, particularly energy-intensive companies in the manufacturing sector are partially exempt from the payment of the surcharge for renewable energy. Without this exemption, the international competitiveness of these companies would be damaged. It allows them to continue manufacturing in Germany and also safeguards a large number of jobs in Germany. In addition, railway companies are exempt in order to support this means of transport, which is particularly environmentally friendly, against competition from road and air travel.

Since 2016 Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control gives grants for the purchase of electric vehicles.

The activities and issues handled by the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control-based Federal Energy Efficiency Center (BfEE) have expanded accordingly. The Federal Energy Efficiency Center particularly supports the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy conceptually covering all aspects of energy efficiency, currently within the implementation of measures of the National Action Plan on Energy Efficiency, for example the Top Runner Initiative, the Efficiency Strategy on Buildings or concerning the development of new aid programms. Moreover, Federal Energy Efficiency Center accompanies the "PR campaign Energy Efficiency". Furthermore, Federal Energy Efficiency Center by law is responsible for the determination of Germany´s energy savings and the related reporting, as well as for the monitoring and assessment of energy services markets with the objective of developing them.

Tasks and Support Programms concerning Raw Materials

Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control also grants subsidies for German hard coal mining to facilitate the closure of uncompetitive coal mines. Thereby the sale of German hard coal to power stations and steel industry is promoted and exceptional costs that occur due to closure of coal mines are covered. In addition, the granted state aid contributes to the restructuring process in the mining area; a particular aim is to shape the closure process socially bearable for elder workers. Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control calculates the actual height of granted subsidies per year. Therefore the main task is to audit the production costs and revenues of the subsidized undertaking and to collect monthly prices of imported steam, coking and pulverized coal injection coal (free delivery to the German border). Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control is also in charge of granting Anpassungsgeld (adaption payment): elder workers who loose their job due to closure, partial closure or rationalization measures approved by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology receive Anpassungsgeld at the longest of five years until they reach the retirement age to get pension.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) was founded as a coordinating office for the international oil crisis mechanism. In co-operation with the oil industry and Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control is responsible for the implementation of different measures to manage the consequences of a disruption of supplies in the Federal Republic of Germany. Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control permanently informs the International Energy Agency about the supply situation and current trends in the oil market of the Federal Republic. For this purpose, data are collected monthly from the German oil companies. The results of these statistics are published in the Official Mineral Oil Statistics. They serve as the basis for the observation and analysis of the development of the oil market as well as for political decisions on energy and environment. Every year Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control requires reports from the German oil industry for the International Fund to Compensate for Oil Pollution. The reports are the basis for fixing the contribution of the German oil industry to the fund. Under certain conditions the fund compensates for damage caused by oil tanker accidents.

In case of natural gas, Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control is in charge for the licensing of import treaties with a period of delivery of 24 months as well as the collation and publication of different statistics (inclusive border crossing prices).