German Lawmakers to Vote on Bill to End ‘Excessive’ Green Aid

German lawmakers should back the government’s revised EEG clean-energy law when they vote on the bill in parliament today because current subsidies are “excessive,” according to Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

The legislation will stop price increases while ensuring that the expansion of renewables can continue, Gabriel said today in the Bundestag, where the bill drafted by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government is being debated.

“We need more cost-efficiency when it comes to expanding renewables,” said Hubertus Heil of the Social Democrats that are Merkel’s junior coalition partner. “If you want the energy switch, you must be ready to accept changes now.”

Merkel is seeking to wind back subsidies in Europe’s biggest clean-energy market even as she pushes through the “energy switch” from nuclear power to renewables. Her plan would see all the country’s reactors shut by 2022 and the share of renewables rise to at least 80 percent by 2050, from about a quarter now.

The opposition Green Party and Die Linke vowed to vote against the bill, saying it would delay solar, wind and biomass projects and give excessive rebates to industrial companies.

“There will be no price break for consumers, but there will be a price break for the industry,” Caren Lay, a lawmaker for Die Linke, said today in parliament.

The bill is expected to pass as the government has a majority in parliament.

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