GERMANY: 'Green' energy up in Germany but future clouding

Germany produced almost a tenth of its energy needs for transport, electricity generation and heating from renewable sources in 2007, an industry group said on Tuesday.

The German federation for renewable energy (BEE) warned however that further progress was likely to be hampered by falling investment in renewable energy sources. A total of 9.1 percent of the energy for Europe's biggest economy was produced from sources such as the wind and the sun, compared with eight percent in 2006, the group said.

The biggest year-on-year jump was in electricity generation, with 14.3 percent in 2007 from renewable sources compared with 11.8 percent a year earlier, a difference BEE said equated to the annual output of a nuclear power station.

It said however that much of the increase could be attributed to a year of exceptionally high winds which activated wind turbines more than in 2006.

Federation president Johannes Lackmann said investment in renewable energy sources turbines had actually fallen in 2007 and called on the German government to do more to stimulate its growth.

"The government's current provisions are insufficient to continue the successful course of recent years," he said.

Tax breaks and other subsidies that renewable energy sources receive in Germany are due to be gradually phased out over the next few years, which "green" producers say will erode their already weak competitiveness compared to traditional energy sources such as coal and nuclear power.

Via: Agence France-Presse

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