New efforts to end mandated fixed purchase prices for wind

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With a general election called for September, a year earlier than expected, Germany's electricity federation Verband der Elektrizitätswirtschaft (VDEW) has launched a new effort to dispense with mandated fixed prices for purchase of wind power under the national renewable energy law. "Climate policy is currently implemented with too many uncoordinated instruments," says VDEW. "These include the renewable energy law, the law for support of cogeneration and emissions trading." The organisation says it wants "sustainable solutions that are acceptable into the long term and which must be harmonised within the European Union." It plans to present various models "currently being developed in various project and working groups." Peter Ahmels of federal wind energy association Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE) believes VDEW will call for an "expensive quota model" which would enable electricity companies to profit from renewable energies. Ahmels is referring to markets for renewable energy credit trade which mandate specific "quotas" of renewables power in the supply mix, such as in Britain. "For E.ON, RWE and others, involvement in wind energy doesn't pay [in Germany] with the current, tightly calculated payments for electricity under the renewable energy law," he says. E.ON and RWE are involved in the UK's wind power market, he adds, "because there is more money for the electricity to be had there than in Germany." The structure of the UK market for renewable energy credit trade has forced payments for wind power up, rather than down. Under the present German system, "electricity companies are losing about 1% market share a year through expansion of renewable energies," adds Milan Nitzschke from federal renewable energy association Bundesverband Erneuerbare Energien. The electricity companies "want to stop this trend," he says.

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