Germany’s Conservative Party Considers Abolishing Renewable Energy Subsidies

  • Date: 29/11/16
  • Stefan Schultz, Der Spiegel

In the run-up to next year’s general elections, Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU) are considering a rapid end to subsides for renewable energies. Wind, solar and biogas plants would in future have to financially “stand on their own feet,” according to a draft discussion paper by the Federal Committee for Finance, Economy and Energy, seen by the German magazine Der SPIEGEL.

“We will develop a concept of how to get out of renewable energy (EEG) funding by the end of the next election period,” says the paper which includes initial proposals for the CDU’s election manifesto.

Joachim Pfeiffer, the chairman of the Federal Committee of Finance, Economics and Energy, confirmed the CDU’s consideration. “Subsidies have to be unlasting,” said the Christian Democrat MP. In his opinion, the Energiewende would be jeopardised by the “sprawling support of renewable energy, not by its roll-back”.

A CDU source said that it was still far from clear whether the party would actually go into the election campaign with the demand of abolishing subsidies for renewable energy.

The CDU paper calls for the “long-term financing of renewable energy via so-called emissions trading”. This scheme regulates the need for businesses to purchase certificates in return for their CO2 emissions. The scheme is intended to provide an incentive to reduce CO2 emissions into the atmosphere.

Thomas Bareiss, the chairman of the Federal Committee on Energy, explained the thinking behind the draft proposal. “The costs for renewable energy are sinking rapidly; on the other hand the cost of the carbon certificates will increase rapidly in coming years as a result of our high reduction targets,” said the CDU MP. As a result, renewable energy is “automatically competitive” from their point of view.

Full story (in German)

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