Subsidy (Flexibility premium)

Updated: 11.01.2019

Author: Tim Sternkopf

The operators of biogas plants that have been commissioned before 1.8.2014 may claim an additional support for providing additionally installed capacity for on-demand use  (§50b EEG 2017).

Eligible technologies

The flexibility premium only applies to electricity generation from biogas (§ 50b EEG 2017).


Eligible. The following requirements must be fulfilled: 

  • Definition of biomass. The substances regarded as biomass are specified in a separate ordinance (BiomasseV).
  • Obligation to keep a record of substances. Electricity will be eligible for the flexibility premium as specified in the EEG only if the plant operator can prove which type of biomass is used by presenting a copy of a record of the substances used and provides evidence that no other substances are used (§ 44c par. 1 EEG 2017).
  • Additionally installed capacities. The flexibility premium applies only to additionally installed capacities (§ 50b EEG 2017).
  • Direct selling. All electricity generated by a plant shall be sold directly for the purpose of claiming the market premium (§ 50b EEG 2017).
  • Further specifications are available in the Annex 3 of the EEG 2017.


The amount of the flexibility premium is EUR 130 per additionally installed kilowatt per year for 10 years (§ 50b EEG 2017; No. I.4 Annex 3 EEG 2017). The support for additional capacities will end, when 1.350 MW of additional capacities have been installed (No I.5 Annex 3 EEG 2017).


A plant operator is entitled to receiving a flexibility premium according to the subsequent provisions of the law (§ 50b EEG 2017) for the amount of energy fed into the grid. The grid operator is required to purchase, transfer and distribute the electricity (§ 11 EEG 2017). A plant operator is one, who, irrespective of the issue of ownership, uses a plant to generate electricity from renewable energy sources or from mine gas (§ 3 no. 2 EEG 2017). Grid operators are the operators of grid systems of all voltages for general electricity supply (§ 3 no. 3 EEG 2017).


Process flow

Statutory law does not set out a formal application process. However, plant operators shall inform the grid operator in advance of their first claim for the flexibility premium (No I.3 Annex 3 EEG 2017).

Competent authority

The competent authority is the BMWi.

Distribution of costs


The costs of the flexibility premium scheme are borne by the final consumers. 

Distribution mechanism

  • Grid operator – transmission system operator. The grid operator is entitled to be reimbursed for the flexibility payments based on § 50b EEG 2017
  • Transmission system operator – transmission system operator. The transmission system operators divide the costs resulting from the EEG equally among themselves (§ 58 par. 1-3 EEG 2017). A transmission system operator is eligible for compensation from other transmission system operator in case he incurred higher costs due to feed-in tariff and premium payments than the average compensation costs of all transmission system operators (§ 58 par. 3 EEG 2017).
  • Transmission system operator – spot market. The transmission system operators sell electricity from renewable sources on the day-ahead or intraday spot market at the stock exchange price (§ 59 EEG 2017 in conjunction with § 2 EEV).
  • Transmission system operator – utility companies. The utility companies are obliged to reimburse the transmission system operators for their costs (§ 60 par. 1 EEG 2017 in conjunction with § 3 EEV).
  • Utility companies – final consumers. The costs incurred are included in the electricity price and thus, passed on to the final consumers via their electricity bills (§ 60 par. 1 EEG 2017). Special regulations apply for electricity intensive companies and rail operators (§§ 63-65 EEG 2017).


Further information

Basic information on legal sources