German new green energy law will probably be compatible with EU legislation in July

EU authorities are negotiating with the German government to try to make its new green energy law compatible with European Union legislation and a solution is possible this month.

The European Commission, the EU executive, announced last year it was launching a full investigation into Germany’s renewables law.

That inquiry is likely to be very lengthy and Almunia said he had not ruled out that German heavy industry would have to pay back subsidies it received under that regime, although he did not give any figures.

Finding a solution to the European Commission’s problems with the revised German green energy law should be quicker, and Almunia said it was possible it could be achieved before the Commission’s summer break, which begins on Aug. 1.

Tuesday’s ruling from the EU’s top court found Sweden’s renewable support scheme to promote national green power was compatible with EU law, even though Sweden had refused to provide support for non-domestic green power.

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel welcomed that ruling, saying it had removed any lingering EU obstacles to Berlin’s renewable energy law.

Germany, Europe’s biggest electricity market, shares borders with nine countries and is a net exporter of electricity, although it imports some green energy, which Almunia estimated at less than 10 percent of the total.

Renewable power in Germany has become a political battlefield as heavy industry, which uses very large amounts of power, some of which it produces itself, says it will cease to be competitive if it has to contribute as much as other users to subsidizing development of renewables.