While the introduction of carbon emissions trading alongside Germany's renewable energy support law, the Erneuerbare-Energie-Gesetz (EEG) would help reduce climate emissions, a transparent trading mechanism is essential to prevent generators, network operators and traders from cashing in twice with green electricity, warns Germany's wind energy association, Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE). Companies should not be allowed to sell power at the EEG's premium rates and sell the carbon offsets associated with power, says BWE's Peter Ahmels. "The EEG tariffs are set at a level which, in general, allows economic operations. Additional emissions trading benefits would lead to unreasonable windfall profits," he says. Renewable generated electricity accounted for 5.35% of Germany's electricity consumption in 2002 -- resulting in a reduction of CO2 emissions of 26.2 million tonnes a year. "Electricity utilities who comply with emissions reductions obligations with EEG electricity should be required to pass the emissions trading benefit on to customers by reducing the EEG component of electricity prices," says Ahmels. "This would increase public acceptance of the EEG and secure its existence in the long term."
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