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Germany to Propose Renewable-Energy Subsidy Changes in March

Germany, Europe’s biggest power market, plans to propose changes to its clean-energy subsidy system in March to reduce the cost of building wind farms and solar parks as it shutters nuclear reactors.

The so-called EEG clean-energy law must be modified to ensure renewables can compete and their expansion is aligned with power-line construction, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier and Economy Minister Philipp Roesler said today.

“We want to turn the renewable-energy law into the central steering instrument for the future expansion of renewables,” Altmaier told reporters in Berlin. The planned overhaul is “at least as ambitious” as reforming health care or pensions, he said.

Power supply has moved to the center of Germany’s political agenda since Chancellor Angela Merkel decided in 2011 to replace nuclear reactors with more fossil-fired plants and a growing share of clean-energy sources. Her government is seeking to prevent a voter backlash against rising energy costs before the next general election in the autumn of 2013.

It’s not yet clear whether the March proposal will result in a bill before the election, Altmaier said.

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