New government pledges to keep fixed premium rates for wind

Germany's new right wing coalition government is promising ongoing support for the political aims of the outgoing Social Democrat/Green government. The national renewable energy law will not be altered and the renewables targets of 12.5% by 2010 and 20% by 2020 are explicitly confirmed in the coalition agreement. "The agreement is a clear signal," says Peter Ahmels of Germany's wind energy association Bundesverband Windenergie (BWE). But power purchase rates in the standard offer contracts for renewable energy are up for review in 2007. Adjustments to rates, their annual rate of decline for new plant, and contract periods are all to be discussed. Concerning wind power, the coalition agreement states: "We will concentrate on repowering and offshore wind generation and on improving the framework conditions," which could include "expanding the electricity transmission networks." In a concession to energy intensive industries, the new government says it plans to extend relief from the renewable energy levy "immediately." The maximum levy for companies in this sector will be EUR 0.005/kWh. At the same time, stricter rules will apply to the calculation of the levy by network companies to ensure a more transparent and binding process "so that energy consumers are only burdened with the actual costs" of renewable energy, says the agreement. The new government also says it hopes to initiate plans to establish an international agency for renewable energies.

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