Perspective change workshop - 'Reforming electricity grid tariffs: For justice and innovation - how could it work?

On 8-9 June 2021, Germanwatch held an interactive 'perspective change' workshop for German stakeholders, this time on the topic of electricity grid tariffs. The workshop brought together over 30 participants from business, government, politics, academia and civil society, to discuss a potential need to reform the current German grid tariff model to give room to justice and innovation. The results will be formulated into a paper, which will be uploaded to this page upon completion.

In order for climate protection, security of supply and a sustainable economy to be able to succeed simultaneously, the existing energy system must be transformed to become climate-neutral. This is the goal of the German energy transition. The main cornerstones on the way to a climate-neutral energy system are energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. Electricity grids play a key role in this. The transformation to a climate-neutral energy system must always be designed in a fair and just manner.

In this Perspective Change Workshop, Germanwatch examined the current financing of the electricity grids - the grid tariff system - and asked whether it is up to the current challenges: Who bears the costs of the electricity grid and in what proportions? Is this fair? How could electricity grid charges be made fairer and more transparent? How do electricity grid fees influence the behaviour of consumers - today and in the future? How should grid tariffs be designed so that grid operators can increasingly use innovative solutions?


More than 30 relevant stakeholders from business, government, politics, academia and civil society took part in the workshop to discuss these questions together. The need for reform of grid fees was explicitly affirmed by most of the participants. Grid tariffs should be more equitable and encourage more innovation for an energy system based 100% on renewables. The current debate is perceived as being technically closed, which, in contrast to the EEG levy – the renewable energy surcharge - for example, is not discussed much in public, or cannot be discussed much due to a general lack of knowledge. Therefore, many participants expressed that they found it valuable that Germanwatch, an NGO, brought the discussion onto the table. A public dialogue on a network tariff reform was welcomed by many of the participants, who also expressed the wish to continue working together on the topic. Over the course of the workshop, a number of elements were discussed, which could potentially make network charges fairer.

If you are interested in the results of the workshop, please contact Germanwatch's representatives at their 'Debatte Stromnetze gestalten' page.

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Antina Sander
Deputy CEO

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Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the LIFE Programme. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.