Energy bill rejected

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The future of the German wind market -- along with liberalisation of the German electricity and gas markets -- remains in limbo following the Upper House of parliament's rejection of the country's new energy bill. The rejection had been widely expected. The bill, primarily aimed at liberalisation of the electricity and gas markets but also containing a revision of the law governing Germany's Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT), was passed by the Lower House in November. Following rejection by the Upper House, it is now in the hands of a government mediation committee, with a recommendation that it be thoroughly revised. The Upper House, reacting to an attempt to outflank it by the Conservative coalition government, is also demanding that the bill be subject to its approval before becoming law. Implementation of the law, originally scheduled for January 1, is now likely to be delayed for months. Should the mediation committee reject the complaints of the Upper House, the opposition Social Democrat Party, which has a majority in the Upper House, may yet take the matter to the Constitutional Court.

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