Bavaria says Germany must curb renewable energy costs

08-Sep-2015

MUNICH, Sept 8 (Reuters) - The German state of Bavaria will press the federal government to reduce supports for renewable energy, a high-ranking local policymaker said on Tuesday, calling the cost of green power a threat to economic growth.

"We have to step on the brakes of electricity costs. Germany's energy transition must not become a decisive disadvantage and a risk to our welfare," said Ilse Aigner, deputy prime minister of the south-western German state and minister for energy.

Aigner's views matter because Bavaria has to be in line with Germany's overall energy goals and her party, the Christian Social Union (CSU), has leverage over Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government, led by the CSU's bigger sister party, the CDU.

She could therefore influence a federal debate planned for this autumn, after the Berlin government settled a number of energy-related disputes in July.

Critics say that the 21 billion euros ($23 billion) that German industrial and household consumers pay annually to subsidise green energy, largely through surcharges under the renewable energy act (EEG), slow competitiveness and spending in the broader economy. (by Vera Eckert, Reuters)

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