In a change of heart, Germany's environment minister, Sigmar Gabriel, has thrown the country's wind industry a lifeline -- recommending a EUR 0.012/kWh hike in the government mandated purchase price for wind power on land to take it to EUR 0.091/kWh from 2009. Eight months ago the only concession Gabriel was prepared to grant was an easing of the annual decrease in purchase price for new projects coming on line from 2% to 1%. His u-turn follows extensive lobbying by the wind industry. The second and third reading of the pricing amendment to the German renewable energy law is due this month and if all goes well the new rate could come into force in August. Failing that, October seems the most likely date. Aside from a higher purchase price, other amendments to the law being sought by the wind industry include indexing of the purchase price to raw material prices on the global market, a re-evaluation of the annual decreases in payments, and improved wind power management in the German power system to minimise wind power curtailments. Germany is aiming for 30% of its electricity from renewables by 2020.
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