While Germany's renewable energy law, the Erneuerbare-Energien-Gesetz (EEG), provides "an economic advantage to operators of green electricity installations and [has] the potential to distort competition in a liberalised electricity market," it does not constitute the payment of state aid to industry. So concluded the European Commission last month, ending years of debate about the legality, under EU common market rules, of utilities being ordered by governments to pay specific premiums for wind power. The commission came to its conclusion after examining a judgement made by the European Court of Justice in March, 2001, which concluded that requiring people to pay more for green power was not a form of state aid.
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