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German plastics trade group protests renewable energy law

By: David Vink
EUROPEAN PLASTICS NEWS

January 24, 2014

A trade group that represents plastics processors in Germany has joined forces with seven other trade associations to issue a joint statement calling for "honest discussion" on energy costs.

GKV, the German trade association for plastics processors (Gesamtverband Kunststoffverarbeitende Industrie eV), has regularly been critical of Germany's EEG renewable energy law.

The Jan. 23 statement describes electricity bill surcharges to support development of electricity generation from renewable resources as "an excessive cost burden" on Germany as a location for industrial production.

The statement continues by saying that "the high electricity costs for industry in Germany are hardly bearable any more and severely restrict companies in their business development."

The alliance of eight trade associations calls for "honest discussion" about costs and financing of the energy policy.

The alliance also calls for a reduction of the present EEG surcharge on electricity bills, along with retention and extension of rebates for industry. This is despite the rebate system having come under fire from the European Commission as being incompatible with European Union competition rules.

German electricity costs are much higher than in many other countries and the alliance says government measures only aim to reduce the rate of future increases due to the EEG surcharge, not to reduce costs. The result is that small- and medium-sized companies are becoming less competitive, according to the alliance members.

The EEG surcharge now accounts for half of the average electricity price for industry, according to the groups.

The alliance also represents other industrial manufacturers representing 10,000 German companies that employ 2.5 million people.