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Germany's Great Green Meltdown
Brussels Investigating Berlin's Green Policies

According to a draft letter received by Angela Merkel’s government in Berlin, the EU is finally opening up an investigation into Germany’s green policies to see whether its exemptions to green energy surcharges, extended to Germany’s most energy-intensive companies, are giving the firms an unfair advantage.

Brussels has been threatening to open such a probe for months, and now it seems the day of reckoning has arrived. Reuters reports that roughly 2,300 firms are exempted from the green energy “tax”—put in place to help pay for the runaway costs brought on by Germany’s energiewende.

It’s no secret that German energy policy is a mess right now. Feed-in tariffs for solar and wind energy, guaranteed high long-term rates meant to kick-start renewables, have worked too well. Some farmers are starting to rely on the money generated from such tariffs as a form of welfare, and the costs are being passed along to consumers. Or, more accurately, those consumers that don’t rely too much on electricity to turn a profit.

Merkel pledged to reform the systemic mess, but Brussels isn’t willing to wait. One of Europe’s most ill-conceived energy schemes—which is saying something, given the continent’s track record—might also be illegal.

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