German economy minister calls for further reforms of renewable energy law

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 24, 2017 5:40 AM

BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany must carry on with legislation aimed at capping energy costs and ironing out inefficiencies in its renewable energy expansion, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel told an energy industry gathering on Tuesday.

"It is not a matter of how quickly you build renewable power installations but how you integrate them into the energy system at reasonable cost," he said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government, seeking reelection in September this year, has further reformed its renewable energy act (EEG) this year to cut costs for consumers.

Gabriel cited successes in efforts to move to a decarbonized economy by the middle of the century, but he warned against moving too fast to phase out coal-fired generation and domestic brown coal mining, so as to protect jobs.

Looking ahead, he said the energy sector should work to harness new technologies such as energy storage, and partner with the car industry to build electric vehicles.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Vera Eckert; Editing by Andrea Shalal)