German Chancellor pledges continued support

Backdated cuts ruled out, priority access safeguarded

There will be no retroactive measures in connection with renewable energy support, German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed at an energy congress in Berlin on Wednesday.

Plans to retroactively reduce feed-in tariffs for offshore wind and other renewables presented by the environment and economy ministers caused great uncertainty earlier this year. "We will not revive the proposals," Merkel said.

EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger, speaking at the same event organised by the German federal energy federation, BDEW, echoed Merkel's words. "Measures acting retroactively destroy market confidence," he said.

Merkel went on to say that priority feed-in of renewables generation "will not be abolished" in the upcoming revision of the renewable energy act. It remains to be seen to what extent Merkel and her CDU party will be able to dictate renewables support rules after federal elections in September.

Priority feed-in has been a crucial element of Germany's renewables support. However, under the direct marketing mechanism linked to the feed-in tariff system, renewables operators will increasingly choose to curtail their output to stop prices going negative when there is oversupply on the system, for example. Merkel's pledge is likely to lose its significance over the coming years as a result.

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