Cutbacks to existing contracts rattle Europe’s renewables proponents
Germany is attempting to control electricity costs after it’s EEG, considered a renewables’ surcharge, jumped to over 5 euro cents/kWh in this, a German election, year. This despite the relatively small contribution of wind (8%) and solar (5%) to total 2012 electricity generation in Germany (bdew figures).
The German Energy Blog explains proposed changes to the EEG, with perhaps the biggest surprise being a straight 1.5% cut in payments on existing contracts. German Renewables groups proposed alternatives (Bloomberg) essentially to stop excluding industry from paying for renewables (industry has benefitted from falling market rates as costs were increasingly transferred from market pricing to the feed-in tariff’s fixed rates), and the government cutting back on it’s tax haul.
Regardless of the choices in controlling consumer cost, it’s a lot of effort for 13% of supply.
Spain gets far more than 13% of it’s supply from renewables – the Canadian Broadcast Corporation noted wind producting 25% of Spain’s electricity in January. Spain celebrated with another round of actions (details at Lexology) to curtail a massive $28 million euro tariff deficit, growing at ~5 billion euro dollars a year,
The cuts, expected to save ~1 billion euros a year – keeping in mind the deficit is ~5 billion – have foreign “investors” feeling litigous, according to Reuters