The premium rates paid to renewable plant operators under the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff will fall from the start of the new year. Wind and solar energy will receive DEM 0.1652/kWh, down from DEM 0.1679/kWh in 1998. This compares with DEM 0.1469/kWh to be paid by utilities for power from biomass and small hydro plant (up to 500 kW), reduced from DEM 0.1492/kWh in 1998, and DEM 0.1193/kWh for larger hydro plant (between 501 kW and 5 MW), which received DEM 0.01212/kWh this year. The rates are based on the utilities' average income per kWh on sales to end customers two years earlier -- the figure for 1997 thus determines the 1999 REFIT rates. The federal office of statistics has published DEM 0.1836 as the average price of power to end customers in 1997. The REFIT law gives solar and wind energy 90% of this figure. Biomass and small hydro plant receive 80% and small hydro plant receive 65%.
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