27th Jun 2019

Germany alarmed by Brussels' renewable energy plans

  • Berlin supports the production of renewable electricity with fixed prices (Photo: European Community, 2005)

Germany is concerned that European Commission legislative plans will harm its system of subsidy policy for renewable electricity, resulting in a loss running to billions of euros.

German daily Financial Times Deutschland reports that Brussels is planning to create a trading system for green electricity based on a system of pre-set quotas for EU member states.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The plan is to be unveiled in December as part of a overall package laying out how member states will ensure that 20% of their energy comes from renewable sources, a goal the EU set itself earlier this year.

But Berlin fears the commission plan will undermine its current subsidy system whereby the building of wind, sun or other green installations are supported with fixed prices for how much they feed into the electricity net.

This support has led to a boom in the renewable energy sector.

Under Brussels' plan, if a country does not fulfil its quotas - i.e. produce enough renewable energy - then they would buy it elsewhere. Berlin fears that this market situation this will lead to a rise in prices for bio-energy, above the current fixed price in Germany.

FT Deutschland notes that at a recent expert conference in Amsterdam, the German environment ministry said that the German subsidy system would be "destroyed" and could by 2020 cost the government an additional €4 billion a year.

The result would be a loss in "public acceptance" of the system.

Berlin's alarm looks set to put it on confrontation course with the commission.

Already the two sides have been scuffling over other areas in the energy sector - such as Brussels' push to liberalise the energy market.

In unusually sharp criticism, commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso recently said that Germany's "plea to leave power where it can be exercised closest to the citizen ... is really aimed against the European institutions."

His comments referred to Germany's reluctance to separate the production and distribution channels of big energy companies - a key plank of the liberalisation package.

EU top court backs Canada trade deal in ruling

The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that the EU-Canada free trade agreement, and its controversial dispute settlement mechanism, is in line with the bloc's rules.

EU and Japan in delicate trade talks

The Japanese PM comes to Brussels to discuss the first results of the new EU-Japan free trade deal, plus WTO reform - a sensitive topic before he moves onto Washington to face Donald Trump.

News in Brief

  1. EU warns Turkey as 'Gezi Park' trials begin
  2. EU universities to share students, curricula
  3. Migrant rescue ship loses Human Rights Court appeal
  4. Denmark completes social democrat sweep of Nordics
  5. Johnson offers 'do or die' pledge on Brexit
  6. Weber indirectly attacks Macron in newspaper op-ed
  7. EU to sign free trade deal with Vietnam
  8. EU funding of air traffic control 'largely unnecessary'


Romania enlists priests to promote euro switchover plan

Romania is due to join the single currency in 2024 - despite currently only meeting one of the four criteria. Now the government in Bucharest is enlisting an unlikely ally to promote the euro to the public: the clergy.

Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all

The visit of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to the White House on Wednesday showed that the current rift in transatlantic relations is deepening by the day.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  4. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  6. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  7. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  8. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  9. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew campaign: spot, capture and share Traces of North
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate

Latest News

  1. EU moves to end car-testing 'confidentiality clause'
  2. EU parliament gives extra time for leaders on top jobs
  3. Europe's rights watchdog lifts Russia sanctions
  4. EU-Vietnam trade deal a bad day for workers' rights
  5. EU 'special envoy' going to US plan for Palestine
  6. Polish judicial reforms broke EU law, court says
  7. EU study: no evidence of 'East vs West' food discrimination
  8. Russia tried to stir up Irish troubles, US think tank says

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us