The market power of the largest electricity suppliers is declining. This emerges from a draft of the monitoring report of the Federal Network Agency, which is available to SPIEGEL.
The share of the five largest providers RWE, E.on, EnBW, Vattenfall and Leag in the available conventional generation capacity was therefore 60.8 percent in 2018, compared to 64.9 percent in 2017.
The degree of market concentration has decreased, inter alia due to the sale of the company Uniper to the Finnish Fortum Group, according to the report. For this purpose, two coal rigs from RWE would now only be used as an emergency reserve.
"In the course of further planned shutdowns, the degree of market concentration is likely to decrease further," writes the Federal Network Agency, which is the government's supreme control authority for monitoring the electricity market. The latest German nuclear power plant should be shut down by the end of 2022 at the latest. The Federal Government also plans to decommission brown and hard coal power plants in the medium term future.
According to the Monitoring Report 2018, the market share of the five best-selling companies for conventionally generated electricity was around 74 percent; in the previous year it had been 75.5 percent. Accordingly, the share of energy giants in this segment is still high, but the segment now accounts for just over two-thirds of the electricity sold.
Already more than 195 terawatt hours of electricity were generated last year by wind, solar and biogas plants and subsidized by the so-called Renewable Energy Sources Act. Only five percent of that came from plants of the major power companies.
Overall, conventional power generation, according to the Federal Network Agency in 2018, has fallen by four percent compared to the previous year. In the future, it should continue to decline – and with it, the market power of the major energy companies.