Germany approves renewables act draft

GERMANY: The draft of Germany's revised Renewable Energy Act, introducing a cap of 2.5GW per year for onshore wind, has been rubberstamped by the federal government.

The German government has pushed through the revised Renewable Energy Act
The German government has pushed through the revised Renewable Energy Act

The ruling also includes a 6.5GW by 2020 ceiling, followed by 15GW by 2030 for offshore wind.

There are few improvements for the wind sector compared with previous drafts. This includes counting only the net increase of repowering projects within the onshore cap, and adjustments to make smaller cuts in onshore and offshore wind support than originally planned.

What form the planned introduction of competitive tendering procedures for onshore and offshore wind from 2017 will take is still very unclear, however.

Equally hazy is how the European Commission's plans to limit renewables support to ten years, as stated in its draft guidelines on energy and environment state aid, will dovetail with Germany's new support arrangements.

The German government claims the expansion caps and other new arrangements in the draft law are to make renewables expansion easier to plan, to slow further increases in costs and better integrate wind and other renewables into the market.

It hopes to speed the draft through the lower and upper houses of parliament to take effect on 1 August.

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