Austria approves new renewables support law

Government and opposition agree package of subsidies capped at €17m per year from 2006

Austria's centre-right government has reached agreement with the opposition Social Democrats on a new renewable energy support law. Under the law state support for renewables from 2006 will be capped at €17m annually and handed out on a first-come, first-serve basis. New providers of renewable energy will also receive full subsidies for 10 years only.

Reaction to the new law was mixed. The Greens in the Austrian parliament blasted the law as an "environmental destruction measure" and said that Austria would fail to meet its EU target of renewables supplying 78% of electricity by 2010. Austria's main industry association said it would make renewables support more efficient.

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