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REFIT barrier ahead

The lower house of the German parliament passed on November 28 an amendment to the Electricity Feed in Law incorporating its renewable energy feed in tariff (REFIT). This will effectively place a cap on the volume of renewable energy eligible for premium payments in Germany (Windpower Monthly, December 1997). As part of wider legislation to liberalise the country's electricity and gas markets, the new legislation frees utilities from the obligation to buy wind power in places where it reaches 5% of the electricity supply mix. The bill goes to the upper house of parliament for approval December 19. But it is widely expected to be rejected there since the majority Social Democratic party disapproves of the draft law. If it is rejected, an arbitration committee will swing into action. It remains to be seen whether the committee will suggest changes be made to the bill.

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