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German Minister Sees Some Renewable Changes Before Election

Jan 24, 2013
Source: 
(Reuters)

Germany must not miss chances to review elements of its costly renewable energy subsidy system as it gears up for national elections in late September, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said.

Rising energy bills in Europe's biggest economy have become a major concern for Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right government which has decided to pull out of nuclear energy and set ambitious targets for renewables to replace fossil fuels.

Thanks in part to a law - called EEG - that guarantees the sale of renewables at above-market rates, Germany has seen a rapid expansion in solar panels and wind turbines but the system has become oversubsidised and a burden for consumers.

"There cannot be a complete overhaul of the EEG law but some new rules (are possible), even before the election," Altmaier said at the annual Handelsblatt energy conference.