Protecting coal and wind subsidies

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Germany is still working on a way of protecting both its coal and wind power subsidies from the eagle eye of the EU's competition commissioner. It is proposing that 15% of primary energy consumption in each EU country be protected from the rigours of Europe's Internal Energy Market. After talks with EU energy commissioner Loyola de Palacio, Germany's economy minister, Werner Müller, declared that a Commission proposal to ban state aid for coal from 2010 has been removed from the agenda. Mueller admitted in an interview with the Handelsblatt newspaper that other EU countries are not particularly enthusiastic over Germany's proposed ring-fence protection for 15% of energy supply. "This is not surprising as there are now very few coal producers in the EU and renewable energies already enjoy relatively wide freedoms," he commented.

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