The plans mean the controversial benefits, which
Germany's export-oriented industry has argued it needs to remain
competitive especially with U.S. rivals, could remain around the
5.1 billion euros a year level which is granted now.
The draft law should be passed by the Bundestag lower house of
parliament in the summer together with the flagship reform of
the renewable energy law, designed to curb rises in the cost of
power driven by the rapid expansion of green power.
The ballooning cost of generous subsidies to renewable energy
producers threatens to undermine the ambitious shift towards
green energy in Europe's biggest economy.
According to the draft law on rebates, companies will not get
the full amount allowed by the European Union but will have to
pay a minimum of 0.1 cents per kilowatt hour of electricity used
towards supporting renewable energy.
Until now, the minimum payment for heavy energy users, including
the aluminum and steel sectors and some big engineering firms,
has been 0.05 cents.
After months of difficult negotiations, Germany and the European
Commission agreed in April to continue to exempt some German
companies from the surcharge. However, the EU guidelines will
not be implemented in German law in full, partly because that
would have raised the cost of the rebates. While the Commission
reduced the number of sectors exempted, a greater number of
firms could have benefited from more relief if the guidelines
had been implemented exactly.
(Reporting by Markus Wacket; Writing by Madeline Chambers;
Editing by Stephen Brown)
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