• Germany's news in English

Minister plans cuts in renewable energy cash

AFP · 20 Jan 2014, 08:32

Published: 20 Jan 2014 08:32 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Opposition MPs and the solar energy sector have already criticised the reforms due to be discussed by conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel's new "grand coalition" cabinet with the Social Democrats next week.

Merkel took the surprise decision in 2011 to scrap nuclear power for renewables in the wake of the Fukushima disaster but has faced pressure over how to pay for the clean energy drive.

Generous state incentives for solar, wind and biogas that have driven up prices, now among Europe's highest, would be trimmed from this year under Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel's much-anticipated proposals.

Gabriel, a Social Democrat who is Merkel's vice chancellor and also economy minister, is mulling a new law encapsulating the energy changes that would take effect from August 1st.

Speaking on ZDF public television, he sought to dampen any consumer hopes that the proposals would lead to a reduction in electricity prices, according to early excerpts of the interview to be broadcast Sunday.

"Falling electricity prices there will not be, but we will finally put the brakes on the increase," Gabriel told the "Berlin Direkt" programme. Subsidies for new producers of wind energy would be reduced while those for biogas would practically disappear.

Producers would also gradually be forced to sell green energy competitively on the market from next year rather than enjoying priority treatment with guaranteed prices.

Europe's top economy aims to have 80 percent of its electricity consumption sourced by renewable forms of energy by 2050, compared with 25 percent currently.

But Greens party leader Simone Peter told Spiegel Online the proposals "endanger" Germany's transition from nuclear power, while the far-left Linke party's deputy chief Caren Lay said they rolled back the strategy.

And the association representing the solar energy sector expressed concern after being hit by an initial wave of subsidy cuts in 2012.

READ MORE: Energy boss warns of blackouts in Europe

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
These are Germany's top ten universities
The new library of Freiburg University. Photo: Jörgens.mi / Wikimedia Commons

These are the best universities in all of Germany - at least according to one ranking.

Introducing Swabians - 'the Scots of Germany'
Photo: DPA

These Southern Germans have quite a reputation in the rest of the country.

Woman sues dentist over job rejection for headscarf
Photo: DPA

A dentist in Stuttgart is being taken to court by a woman whom he rejected for a job as his assistant on the basis that she wears a Muslim headscarf.

Isis suspect charged with scouting Berlin attack sites
Photo: DPA

German federal prosecutors said Thursday they had brought charges against a 19-year-old Syrian man accused of having scouted targets in Berlin for a potential attack by the Isis terror group.

Berlin Holocaust memorial could not be built now: creator
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

The architect of the Berlin Holocaust memorial has said that, if he tried to build the monument again today, it would not be possible due to rising xenophobia and anti-Semitism in Germany and the United States.

'Liberal' Germany stopping Europe's 'slide into barbarism'
Ian Kershaw. Photo: DPA

Europe is not slipping into the same dark tunnel of hate and nationalism that it did in the 1930s - mainly thanks to Germany - one of the continent's leading historians has said.

Eurowings strike to hit 40,000 passengers
Travelers impacted by the strike on Thursday wait at Cologne Bonn airport. Photo: DPA.

The day-long strike by a Eurowings cabin crew union is expected to impact some 40,000 passengers on Thursday as hundreds of flights have been cancelled.

Deutsche Bank reports surprise quarter billion profit
Photo: DPA

Troubled German lender Deutsche Bank reported Thursday a surprise €256-million profit in the third quarter, compared with a loss of more than six billion in the same period last year.

US 'warned Merkel' against Chinese takeover of tech firm
Aixtron HQ. Photo: DPA

The German government withdrew its approval for a Chinese firm to purchase Aixtron, which makes semiconductor equipment, after the US secret services raised security concerns, a German media report said Wednesday.

Long-vanished German car brand joins electric race
Photo: DPA

Cars bearing the stamp of once-defunct manufacturer Borgward will once again roll off an assembly line in north Germany from 2018, the firm said Wednesday.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd