Renewables exempt from proposed Europe energy tax

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Renewable energy production has been exempted from a proposed minimum EU-wide excise duty on energy. The draft Directive, which went through the European parliament last month, was reworked slightly after it had been rejected in February, reports news wire ENDS Environment Daily. The parliament had called for the original proposal to be made "greener," deleting automatic exemptions for energy-intensive industries such as chemicals. The proposal, which was narrowly adopted, has been attacked by Spain. Spain argues that in most northern EU countries, existing taxes on energy are already higher than the new minimum rates set in the draft Directive. Thus, poorer member states, including Spain, will be forced to raise their energy taxes, making their industries less competitive, argues the Spanish government.

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