ArgusMedia is reporting:
The European Commission has opened the way for Germany to continue exempting steelmakers from some of the effects of the country’s renewable energy levy. German steelmakers’ association WV Stahl has welcomed the move, but warns that further discussion is needed before the government finalises its planned reforms.
The steel industry — and other energy-intensive sectors — currently qualify for exemptions from parts of Germany's renewable energy levy. The commission has now agreed to the legality of these exemptions, following concerns over unfair state aid. The German government is in the process of reforming its renewable energy act (EEG) and, in tandem with the commission’s decision, has drafted proposals that existing embedded industrial power generation — a particular concern for the energy-intensive steel sector — will remain levy-free.
WV Stahl said the commission’s decision will help ensure that competitive steel production “remains possible” in Germany. But other aspects of the EEG continue to burden the sector with high energy costs, relative to competitor nations. And WV Stahl urged more dialogue before Germany finalises its EEG reforms, particularly on the exemption status of new-build embedded power generation capacity.