Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

EU probes green charge exemptions for German industry

German Chanellor Merkel addresses reception for relatives of Bundeswehr soldiers at Chancellery in BerlinBy Barbara Lewis BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany's multi-billion euro exemption of heavy industry from green energy charges will be investigated fully to see whether it is unfair, the European Commission said on Wednesday. Germany and some other European countries have imposed levies on power bills to subsidise the development of renewable sources such as wind turbines and solar panels, but such policies have become increasingly controversial during a period of slack economic growth. The European Union executive said Germany's industrial discounts on green surcharges might sometimes be justified to keep energy-intensive firms in Europe, but it still had concerns that aspects of Germany's law distorted competition. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking on Wednesday before the Commission's announcement, said Germany was seeking to remain a strong center for industry and she did not see how the discounts could be unfair.

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