German cogeneration support plan attacked

RWE claims government action would "violate" the liberalised electricity market

Germany's largest energy utility, RWE, yesterday launched itself into an already loud national debate over the of cogenerated heat and power in the country's energy supply. It claimed that a government proposal set to emerge this autumn would be a "flagrant violation" of the newly introduced free market in electricity.

The government has already introduced emergency measures to protect cogeneration plants, which have faced rapidly falling electricity prices following liberalisation (ENDS Daily 29 March). It is now preparing a more comprehensive law aimed at doubling the sector's share of the market by 2010, aimed at helping Germany to cut carbon dioxide emissions and meet its commitment under the UN Kyoto climate protocol.

RWE said in a statement that further subsidies for cogeneration would undermine the free market for 40% of electricity generation in Germany, further increase current problems of excess generation capacity and pile "billions more Deutsch marks" of taxes on citizens. It would also lead to more closures and job losses in Germany's coal power stations, the company added.

Follow Up:
RWE, tel: +49 20 11 201 and press release.

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