Wind Wire: Pessimistic progress

Austria's mandated purchase price for wind power, EUR0.753/kWh, has been approved by the European Commission (EC) but is still too low to stimulate a market for wind turbines, says Austrian wind energy association IG Windkraft.

"We now need to increase feed-in tariff levels in Austria for wind power as they are lower than in other countries such as Germany and Bulgaria," says IG Windkraft's Lukas Pawek. In Germany the price for wind power is around EUR0.95/kWh.

Austrian wind energy producers are at a further disadvantage, says Pawek, because they have to pay to connect plant to the grid. Meanwhile, the EC says it will investigate whether the Austrian Green Electricity Act favours large energy consumers, infringing European Union state aid rules by leaving smaller players at a competitive disadvantage.

Under the new law, energy intensive industries can be granted special exemption from rules requiring companies to fund and buy green electricity. "As a result, enterprises not qualifying for the exemption may be burdened with extra cost for purchasing additional amounts of green electricity," says the commission.

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