Competitive electricity costs – prerequisite for the production of cement in Germany
In Germany, the costs of supporting renewable energies are spread out by means of reallocation to the power consumer in accordance with the renewable energies act (EEG). Firms with high electricity consumption can be partly relieved of this if they fulfil the strict quantitative and qualitative requirements of the EEG‘s special equalisation scheme. The aim of the scheme is to protect companies that use a lot of power due to the nature of their processes from losing their competitiveness vis-à-vis competing locations in other countries inside and outside of Europe. Recently there has been much heated discussion on the amount and distribution of costs under the EEG. Alongside the promotion of renewable energies, the relief of power-intensive firms has been subject to criticism. The present study by EEFA-Forschungsinstitut GmbH & Co. KG, Münster empirically investigates the international competition situation of the German cement industry in this context. The focus of the analysis is on the intensity of power costs for cement manufacture, the exposure of cement companies to international competition – both inside and outside of Europe – and the significance of EEG relief for the preservation of cement production and employment in Germany. The latter is evaluated in view of the expected effects of a potential increase in power costs on the sector and the German economy as a whole.