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Germany’s Renewables Energy Policy May Be Illegal, Media Report

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Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, The Daily Telegraph

Germany is facing legal action by the European Commission for discriminating in favour of its own energy companies in breach of competition law.

The European Union’s energy tsar, Günther Oettinger, said it is unacceptable that German wind-power companies draw on state subsidies for renewable energy, while rival companies from Denmark and other European countries are shut out.

German news weekly Der Spiegel said Brussels is expected to launch a formal infringement case on Wednesday, and will probably demand that beneficiaries of illegal aid pay back sums already received.

Part of the complaint involves the way Germany is sharing out the costs of its Energiewende, its push to boost the share of electricity generated from wind, solar and other renewables to 50pc by 2030, and 80pc by the middle of the century.

The government shut down eight nuclear reactors after the Fukushima disaster in Japan and is phasing out the country’s whole nuclear industry by 2022.

Switching to renewables, including plans for 60,000 wind turbines, some in environmentally sensitive areas, may cost €1 trillion over the next 30 years, and has set off a political storm in Germany.

Much of the burden is falling on German households, while some 4,500 German businesses are able to claim exemptions to help to preserve their global competitiveness.

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