EU executive arm probes Germany over green energy law

BRUSSELS Thu Nov 29, 2012 3:30pm EST

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission, the EU's executive body, said on Thursday it is investigating the possibility Germany's new renewables energy law is leading to the misuse of incentives and exemptions.

Renewable energy in Germany is politically divisive as business complains the nation's shift away from nuclear power toward subsidized renewables such as wind and solar is adding to consumer costs and jeopardizing economic growth.

The Commission confirmed it had received a complaint, without saying who brought it, in relation to "new features" of the 2012 renewables energy law.

"We are looking at the possible implications of these new features in terms of state aid - both the feed-in tariffs and the exemption of energy-intensive undertakings," the Commission said.

"We are in contact with the German authorities. At this stage we are both examining the issues at stake and gathering information. We have not yet reached a conclusion."

Earlier this month, calculations made by grid operators showed a surcharge imposed on German consumers to support renewable power would remain roughly stable in 2014, compared with a sharp rise in 2013.

(Reporting by Barbara Lewis; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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