Friday, June 6, 2008

Step 1: Germany trims solar subsidies, boosts wind and; Upper House to Vote Next

From Earth Times:
Germany's parliament passed Friday legislation that trims cross-subsidies for the booming solar-power industry while boosting other methods of cutting carbon emissions when generating electricity.

With an election due next year, the legislation has been controversial because the extra costs will be loaded onto householders' and businesses' electricity bills at a time when German consumers are already glum over soaring fuel costs. Under a compromise hammered out by Chancellor Angela Merkel's government, power companies are to pay less for power fed into the national grid from solar panels on the roofs of homes, but will come under pressure to use more wind power.

The legislation faces its next test in the Bundesrat upper house
, where the 16 state governments hold sway. Tele-heating, where power stations pipe their surplus hot water into homes during Europe's chilly winters, is to be encouraged. By 2020, about a quarter of German electricity stations will use their waste heat this way. About one eighth do so now....MORE