Craig Morris Error

Craig Morris is one of the best informed journalists writing about German renewable energy policy.

Therefore, it is headline news when he gets something wrong, like in this article titled “What Does the Energiewende Cost Industry”.

There he writes:

The third chart reveals that total industry power consumption adds up to 243.1 terawatt-hours, equivalent to more than 40 percent of total German power demand. Of that, roughly 47 percent is completely exempt from payment of the EEG surcharge to cover the cost of renewable power, with an additional 37 percent having to pay no more than 0.5277 cents per kilowatt-hour (instead of the 3.59 cents passed on to the rest of German power consumers). The green slice of the doughnut for 16 percent of this power represents electricity produced and consumed on-site; because it is directly consumed and never even enters the grid, there are no taxes or surcharges.

Actually, the 47 percent slice is not of electricity completely exempt from the surcharges (no one is completely exempt), but those users who pay the full surcharge of 5.227 cents euro. And of course it doesn’t make any sense to say “having to pay no more than 5.277 (instead of the 3.59 cents passed on to the rest of German power consumers).” The former figure is higher than the latter, and the rest of German power consumers pays 5.277 from 2013 on.

I have discussed these questions in detail in my recent post “Surcharge Reductions for Industry in Germany”.

Update: Morris has corrected this error, and kindly thanked me for pointing it out in this tweet.


Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003,

4 thoughts on “Craig Morris Error

    1. Still wrong to lump those three sections together.

      The BDEW numbers are correct for all three sections.

      Your number (0.0527 cents) is only correct for the 8% section, it is wrong for the 4% section, which does pay more than 0.0527 cents (0.527 cents). It is technically correct for the largest 25%, since 0.05 is “not more” than 0.0527), but still not exact.

      Also, since you are talking about 2013, it must be “instead of the 5.227 cents passed on to consumers”, not “3.59”.

      This is hard to get right…


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