You are on page 1of 1

11. 3.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 76/47

2. It is not for the Council to express an opinion on legislative measures taken in one of the Member States of
the European Community. Pursuant to article 93 of the EC Treaty, the Commission is endowed with the powers
to keep under review all systems of aid existing in Member States in order to ascertain that they are compatible
with the Common Market.

3. The Council has no knowledge of the letter referred to in the questions. Nor is the Council aware of an
“internal note” of the Commission services mentioned in the questions of the Honourable Member.

(1) OJ C 157, 24.5.1997, p. 12.

(98/C 76/127) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1708/97


by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Commission
(23 May 1997)

Subject: Electricity Grid Feed Act

The letter of 26 October 1996 from Commissioner Van Miert to Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic
Affairs, Rexrodt, refers to adverse effects of the Electricity Grid Feed Act on intra-Community trade in
electricity. In connection with the letter, Directorate-General XVII was also asked to deliver an opinion. An
internal note to DG IV from DG XVII dating from summer 1996 mentions alleged ‘disproportionately high
windfall profits’ associated with new or prospective wind power facilities in Germany. In the meantime (at the
beginning of 1997), studies by German research institutes concerning trends in the cost of wind power have been
published showing that the Electricity Grid Feed Act clearly does not result in excessive subsidies being paid.
These studies demonstrate that only at favourable coastal sites do the rates of subsidy currently granted permit
the facilities to operate economically. This calculation does not even take account of the impact of possible future
damage to facilities and repair work.

1. Does not an adverse assessment of the Electricity Grid Feed Act manifestly run counter to the objective of
an environmentally benign energy supply as called for in the White Paper on ‘An Energy Policy for the European
Union’ and, more strongly still, in the Green Paper on Renewable Sources of Energy (COM(96) 0576 final)?

2. How does the Commission believe that the share of renewable energy can be doubled by 2010, as called for
in the Green Paper on Renewable Sources of Energy, without creating the basis for payments to be made for
power supplied to the grid from renewable sources such as to provide an incentive for the installation of new
production capacity?

(98/C 76/128) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1710/97


by Hiltrud Breyer (V) to the Commission
(23 May 1997)

Subject: Electricity Grid Feed Act

The letter of 26 October 1996 from Commissioner Van Miert to Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic
Affairs, Rexrodt, refers to adverse effects of the Electricity Grid Feed Act on intra-Community trade in
electricity. In connection with the letter, Directorate-General XVII was also asked to deliver an opinion. An
internal note to DG IV from DG XVII dating from summer 1996 mentions alleged ‘disproportionately high
windfall profits’ associated with new or prospective wind power facilities in Germany. In the meantime (at the
beginning of 1997), studies by German research institutes concerning trends in the cost of wind power have been
published showing that the Electricity Grid Feed Act clearly does not result in excessive subsidies being paid.
These studies demonstrate that only at favourable coastal sites do the rates of subsidy currently granted permit
the facilities to operate economically. This calculation does not even take account of the impact of possible future
damage to facilities and repair work.

1. Is the Directorate-General for Energy aware of these studies, and will it qualify its statements of summer
1996 in the light of this new information?