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Grid operators set higher 2023 usage fees for German power networks

FILE PHOTO: The moon rises as electricians work atop a power pole near the lignite power plant of Neurath of German energy supplier and utility RWE, near Rommerskirchen

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -German power grid operators on Wednesday raised fees that pay for the transport of electricity via transmission networks to 3.12 cents for 2023, with government financial support keeping the increase at a relatively low level.

The fees could have increased much more sharply due to high energy prices after Russia curbed exports, and rising costs to iron out supply fluctuations on interconnected European grids.

"The TSOs 50Hertz, Amprion, TenneT and TransnetBW welcome the initiative of the government to limit the rise in grid fees on the power transport networks," they said in a joint statement.

The operators cited technically necessary grid interventions, network reserve build-up and maintenance, and procurement in the market for so-called balancing power as reasons behind the rising operational costs.

Government and industry sources told Reuters earlier on Wednesday that the government will inject 12.7 billion euros($12.55 billion) into the grid fee fund, avoiding a more than trebling of the fees, had all the costs been truly reflected.

The grid operators said government moves to subsidise the fees meant they could be broadly stabilised.

The TSOs said that the numbers were preliminary and conditional on the legal basis for the intended stabilisation being presented by Dec. 6.

($1 = 1.0120 euros)

(Reporting by Vera Eckert, editing by Rachel More and Jane Merriman)