"The Grüner Strom-Label is the only green electricity label nationwide that imposes conservation requirements on subsidized renewable energy plants that go beyond what is required by law," explains Rosa Hemmers, chairwoman of Grüner Strom Label e.V. "Only through substantial and firmly defined minimum subsidy amounts per kilowatt hour of green electricity consumed can the nature-friendly expansion of renewable energies be forced and proven through a green electricity label."
For this reason, the Grüner Strom Label e.V. (GSL) and its supporting associations, including BUND, NABU, Deutscher Naturschutz-Ring and EUROSOLAR, launched the 'Naturverträgliche Energiewende' project back in 2014. The goal of this future process is the transformation of the energy sector towards an ecologically and economically sustainable energy supply. The Grüner Strom-Label serves as an interface between environmental associations and the energy industry.
In the first phase of the project, a stakeholder process was initiated in which 24 environmental and consumer associations, energy providers and representatives from business, science and society participated. The result was the New set of criteria for the Grüner Strom-Label that came into force in 2015., in which the environmental requirements for new eco-power plants were specified and in some cases tightened.
The next step will now be to adjust the subsidy amounts following consultations with over 15 stakeholders. This will enable energy providers to set up new green electricity products in the residential and large customer segments. For customers consuming less than ten thousand kilowatt hours per year, the minimum subsidy amount will be reduced from 1.0 to 0.5 cents per kilowatt hour. For price-sensitive large customers with annual consumption of three million kilowatt hours or more, green electricity products can now be designed with a subsidy amount of 0.1 cents per kilowatt hour.
"Households and small businesses in particular are being saddled with the EEG levy unilaterally in favor of big industry, even though the national economy and climate protection as a whole are benefiting. That's why we want to enable energy providers to find a broader customer base for their offers of high-quality green electricity," explains Dr. Werner Neumann, GSL board member and spokesman for the Energy Working Group at the Bund für Umwelt- und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND). "Through their electricity purchases, small and medium-sized businesses and industry, as well as public administrations, can now demonstrably promote nature-compatible energy transition projects, instead of bogus green electricity that brings no additional benefit except for their own marketing."
The updated list of criteria will come into force on January 1, 2017.
In 2017, Grüner Strom Label e.V. will continue the dialog process it has started on the topic of nature-compatible energy transition. All interested groups are invited to participate in the exchange.
About Grüner Strom Label e.V.
The Grüner Strom Label e.V. certifies green energy products. The association awards two seals of approval for this purpose: The label Green Electricity for green electricity with added value and the label Green gas for environmentally compatible biogas. Behind the association are seven non-profit environmental and consumer associations and peace organizations. The Green Electricity and Green Gas labels are the only seals of approval for green electricity and biogas in Germany that are supported by leading environmental associations.