EU rules on German energy act

The General Court of the European Union has ruled on an action brought by Germany against the European Commission decision to classify the country’s Renewable Energy Act as breaching State aid laws.

The Court said the Commission was correct in taking the view that the reduction in the EEG surcharge for electricity intensive undertaking conferred upon them an advantage within the meaning of EU law on State aid. “That reduction released them from a charge which they would normally have had to bear. The grounds underlying an aid measure do not suffice to exclude the measure at the outset from classification as aid.”

“Furthermore, the Commission was correct in taking the view that the EEG 2012 involved State Aid.”

More detail on the ruling can be found here.

The German chemical industry association VCI’s director-general Utzà‚ Tillmann reacted to the news emphasising the need for action regarding support for renewable energies in Germany and the impact it has on industries.

“The promotion of renewable energies has reached a volume that is no longer acceptable generally and no longer affordable for small and medium-sized enterprises. Promotion funds of over 20à‚ billion euros per year should no longer be passed on to consumers without parliamentary control. The ongoing EEG amendment will not solve the cost problem. For this reason, politicians should think about a new system for funding the energy transition ” or Energiewende.”

Tillmann urged the federal government to take all steps possible to lower the costs for energy-intensive industries in the future, so that businesses can remain competitive.

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