Factbox: German to pass energy laws before parliament breaks for summer

2 minute read

Aerial view of a pier for a planned floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the harbour in Wilhelmshaven, Germany, May 4, 2022. Pictures taken by a drone. REUTERS/Stephane Nitschke

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July 7 (Reuters) - Germany's lower house of parliament, the Bundestag, on Thursday is due to decide on two laws to deal with energy emergency issues stemming from a fall in Russian energy supplies amid east-west tension over the war in Ukraine.

It comes as parliament is due to go into its summer break until around the end of August.

ENERGY SECURITY LAW AMENDMENTS

Chancellor Olaf Scholz's government has drawn up legislation that allows Berlin to intervene when energy firms run into trouble. read more

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The most pressing and prominent case is power and gas utility Uniper (UN01.DE), in which the state may well take a sizeable shareholding to prevent insolvency and safeguard the functioning of the market. read more

The law also entails options to introduce a sharing mechanism for the gas price explosion among all consumers rather than allowing the way higher prices affect individual sectors and parts of the value chain.

Another part of it is an option to allow for the activation of more coal burning electricity plants.

If gas gets tight in winter and needs to be taken away from gas-burning power plants and redirected to either critical manufacturing industries or retail customers, who heat with it, a number of plants earmarked for closure under climate laws may run instead.

This law needs to be approved by the upper house of parliament on Friday.

RENEWABLE POWER EXPANSION

Separately, Germany needs to bring on provisions to speed up the expansion of renewable energies. read more

This law follows other schedules than the need to pass measures for energy shortages enforced by the supply crisis, as Germany wants to achieve 80% of power from renewables by 2030 for climate protection reasons.

But it is related to the Russia-Ukraine crisis in that the resolve to bet on green power has not lost focus, in fact has gained traction, so that the region can reach independence from Russian fossil fuels faster.

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Reporting by Markus Wacket, Vera Eckert, editing by David Evans

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