German power firms attack renewable energy law

Utilities complain of "80% increase" in costs of purchasing renewably generated electricity

German power suppliers have complained that the country's new renewable energy support law will force them to pay 80% more for renewable energy this year than in 1999. The national association of electricity suppliers (VDEW) said on Tuesday that utilities would now have to pay around euros 1.2bn (DM2.4bn) annually "for non-competitive power from renewable sources".

The renewable energy support law entered into force on 1 April after final parliamentary approval a month earlier (ENDS Daily 29 February). Designed to further encourage growth in renewably generated electricity, the new text has increased minimum "feed-in" tariffs for all kinds of renewably generated electricity and particularly for solar power.

According to VDEW, the increases in renewable energy premiums combined with wider falls in power prices following market liberalisation in 1998 mean renewable power prices are now 30% to nearly 1000% above the wholesale electricity rate. Since utilities are obliged to purchase renewable electricity offered to them, this will inevitably mean higher costs for customers, the association said.

Follow Up:
VDEW, tel: +49 69 63041 and press release .

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