Germany’s renewable energy law gets EU approval

Changes to renewable energy policies in Germany have won state aid approval from the European Commission. The Renewable Energy Act (EEG 2014) is designed to boost the share of renewables […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Changes to renewable energy policies in Germany have won state aid approval from the European Commission.

The Renewable Energy Act (EEG 2014) is designed to boost the share of renewables by providing incentives – through Feed-in Tariffs – for green energy fed into the grid.

The Commission said the revised law reduces financial burden on energy intensive users by cutting their level of payment following an investigation.

The EU was concerned some German firms producing renewable energy may have benefited unfairly from subsidies in the past. It also said a surcharge imposed on imported electricity equated to a customs duty and violated internal market rules.

Earlier this month Germany agreed to allow foreign firms that import green energy to benefit from the same conditions as those firms that produce energy domestically.

Joaquín Almunia, Commission Vice President in charge of Competition Policy said: “The EEG 2014 paves the way for more market integration of renewables. In the medium term this should lead to lower costs for consumers. Also, the progressive opening up of tenders to operators located in other Member States is a very positive development for the internal energy market.”

Earlier this week the European Commission also approved the UK Government’s Contracts for Difference (CfDs) and Capacity Market schemes.