Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Cuts will “starve” renewable energy industry, say German ministers

Alterations to Germany’s green policy are causing outrage. The country’s environment minister, Norbert Röttgen, has rejected the economy minister’s calls to cut renewable energy subsidies further. Economy minister Philipp Roesler has proposed that Germany should have an annual ceiling of 1,000MW although some ministers have argued that this would “starve” the industry, following a record installation of 7,400MW of solar panels last year. Röttgen believes that Germany needs to speed up investments to expand the power grid and do more to reduce overall energy consumption.

German newspaper Die Welt printed a draft of a letter from Reiner Haseloff, the head of state for Saxon-Anhalt, to Volker Kauder, chairman of CDU/CSU parliamentary group following a conversation with Röttgen. The letter stated that certain heads of state had insisted that they "would provide no support" for a premature further amendment to the Renewable Energies Act (EEG). Stanislaw Tillich (Saxony) and Christine Lieberknecht (Thuringia) signed the letter expressing fear of the collapse of their solar industries. This letter presents itself as pre-Christmas pressure on the issue. A copy of the letter was also addressed to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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