Germany’s plans to pay for coal-fired power plant to be held in reserve may breach EU subsidy rules, according to independent legal experts for the country’s parliament, Reuters reported, citing a document.
Such a reserve may be seen as a subsidy requiring Brussels to approve it but this could be difficult because the government has not said it is needed, the lawyers said.
The government, which is still drawing up the plan, shrugged off the concerns.
“This is a normal process which we have successfully gone through in the past several times,” said a government spokeswoman told Reuters.
In July the government opted to pay to idle several old coal-fired power plants to meet a shortfall towards its 2020 emission target, rejecting its original plan to instead force them to buy more EUAs for exceeding emission levels after protests from utilities and trade unions.
Despite costing the government an etimated €230 million a year, analysts are sceptical whether the plan will fall short of meeting its intended emission reductions, doubts shared by environment minister Barbara Hendricks.