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In the coming year 2017, domestic users and companies in Berlin will be faced with higher costs for using the electricity grid. This is due to the increased charges by the transmission system operator 50Hertz Transmission GmbH of just under 42% compared with the previous year, which Stromnetz Berlin GmbH has to pass on to its end customers. For an average household in Berlin, for example, this will mean an annual increase of just over EUR 20.
50Hertz Transmission GmbH, which operates the network to which the Berlin transmission grid is connected, says that the cost increases in the transmission grid are due to additional power lines and the higher cost of integrating regenerative energies. The main burden for the integration of regenerative energies in Germany is currently borne by only two of the four transmission grid operators – including 50Hertz Transmission GmbH, which is responsible for the eastern German states and Hamburg.
The CEO of Stromnetz Berlin, Thomas Schäfer, considers these regional differences in cost sharing to be unfair. "The whole country benefits from the large amount of wind and solar energy in northern Germany. In order to share the costs of regenerative electricity fairly across all regions of Germany, we therefore need nationwide transmission grid charges," says Thomas Schäfer. For an average Berlin household with an annual consumption of 2,200 kilowatt hours, sharing the costs of the grid fairly would result in a saving of about EUR 15 over the current forecasts for 2017; in other words, the price increase would amount to no more than EUR 6.
The exact charges for 2017 will be determined at the end of this year; on 14 October 2016, Stromnetz Berlin GmbH published an initial estimate of the grid fees.