Discussion of a proposal for European legislation requiring utilities to pay a premium price for all renewable energy generated by independent operators formed the focus of an EU "parliamentary evening" held in Brussels by the Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE), Germany's wind association, in late June. Social Democrat Member of the European Parliament (MEP), Mechtild Rothe, said: "We need a Europe-wide directive that lays down a minimum payment for renewable power." MEP Hiltrud Breyer, from the German Green Party, called for more support from the EU for an expansion of wind, hydro, biomass and solar energies. She also expressed scepticism about complaints from German utilities about the burden of paying for wind energy in Germany under the country's Electricity Feed Law (EFL). "For a period when utilities made profits of some DEM 6 billion thanks to their more-or-less monopoly privilege they still complain about a burden due to wind energy that can't be more than DEM 60 million," she said. In the build-up to the publication of a proposal for legislation on renewable energies, BWE managing director Heinrich Bartelt says he is pleased to have been able to demonstrate to European MP's the importance that a European version of the EFL could have for the development of renewables.
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