The German government is considering asking owners of renewable power generation companies to take a one per cent cut in the feed-in tariff it receives for providing their energy.

Environment Minister Peter Altmaier made the announcement in Berlin as the government sought to shift more of the cost of expansion to producers from consumers in order to stem a surge in electricity prices in an election year.
Peter Altmaier
Chancellor Angela Merkel is attempting to pre-empt a voter backlash after costs for Germany’s clean-energy expansion spiralled.

The government also proposed to curtail subsidies for large energy users such as steelmaker ThyssenKrupp AG (FWBTKA) and chemical company BASF (FWBBAS).

Altmaier said that subsidies to new projects may also be delayed as he outlined plans to cut the cost of the nuclear exit by about $1.8bn.

The measures would “make the energy switch more just, more predictable, and ensure that consumers are protected from unexpected and excessive power-price increases,” according to the minister, who is seeking to bring them into law by Aug. 1.

The plans were criticized by the BEE renewable-energy lobby group, which said delaying payments for new ventures would “punish” investors and throw project planning into doubt. Reducing aid for existing generators is “legally questionable,” the lobby said today in an e-mailed statement.

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