The revised 2012 version of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, adopted in 2011 and in force since 1 January 2012, is designed to facilitate a sustainable development of energy supply in Germany, to reduce the costs of energy supply to the national economy, to conserve fossil fuels, and to promote the further development of technologies for the generation of electricity from renewable energy sources.
To achieve this purpose, the Act aims to increase the share of renewable energy sources in electricity supply to at least 35% by 2020 and 50% by no later than 2030; 65% by 2040 and 80% by no later than 2050, and to integrate these quantities of electricity in the electricity supply system.
The following definition has been adopted: “renewable energy sources” shall mean hydropower, including wave power, tidal power, salt gradient and flow energy, wind energy, solar radiation, geothermal energy, energy from biomass, including biogas, biomethane, landfill gas and sewage treatment gas, as well as the biodegradable fraction of municipal waste and industrial waste (source: Act on granting priority to renewable energy sources, 1 April 2012).
The tariff paid for electricity generated from hydropower, which includes the above mentioned ocean energy sources, amounts to 12.7 cents per kilowatt/hour for the first 500 kilowatts of the rated average annual capacity; 8.3 cents per kilowatt/hour for the rated average annual capacity between 500 kilowatts and 2 megawatts etc. and finally goes down to 3.4 cent for a capacity over 50 MW. The current Feed-in Tariff system includes a decrease of the tariff for hydropower by 1% per year, starting in 2013.
In 2013, the Ministry for the Environment was still in charge of funding research on renewable energies, including wave and tidal technologies. Details of the currently funded projects can be found in the 2012 country report. In addition, the Ministry of Economics and Technology runs the research programme “Next generation maritime technologies”, which is valid for the period 2011-2015 and covers shipbuilding, navigation and maritime technologies. Marine energy technologies are explicitly mentioned under the strategic objectives for maritime technologies due to the significant future opportunities these offer. Consequently, R&D projects with regard to ocean energy technologies are in principle eligible under this programme.