German coalition draft agreement calls for wind energy cuts

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 08, 2013 9:10 AM
German coalition draft agreement calls for wind energy cuts

By Markus Wacket

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives and the Social Democrats have agreed to slash feed-in tariffs (FIT) for wind power in many regions where wind energy production is high, according to a draft agreement obtained by Reuters on Friday.

The draft agreement also says there will be no changes to the FIT support for photovoltaic power production. The changes in the FIT, the lifeblood for renewable energy until prices fall to market levels, will affect only new plants.

It said the new government that the conservatives and SPD hope to form later this month will also examine the exemptions that about 2,000 companies currently receive from the renewable energy surcharge that has been widely criticized.

Germany is a world leader in renewable energy, currently getting about 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar power. The new government wants to reform the Renewable Energy Act (EEG) fuelling the boom.

Even though the FIT has fallen sharply in recent years, consumers and many small companies pay a premium for renewable energy. That renewable surcharge has been rising in recent years, causing concern among consumers and the government.

(Reporting Markus Wacket; Writing by Erik Kirschbaum; Editing by Stephen Brown)