Revenue Shortfall: Carmakers Demand E-Mobility Help from Merkel
Berlin has spearheaded a huge transition to renewable energy, but it isn't running smoothly. Funding for renewable energy projects was meant to come from carbon dioxide emissions trading. But significant shortfalls have now prompted auto industry leaders to request that Chancellor Merkel maintain support for electric cars.
Carbon dioxide emissions trading was supposed to provide significant funding for the German government's big plan to guide the country into a renewable energy revolution. But proceeds from the scheme have been significantly lower than expected. And as a result, budgetary allotments for renewable energy products has been slashed, SPIEGEL has learned.
The letter asks Merkel to ensure payments worth billions that were promised for 2012 and 2013, money that was meant to go towards research and development. It was signed by Matthias Wissmann, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), along with the CEO of software giant SAP, Henning Kagermann, and head of metalworkers' union IG Metall, Berthold Huber.
Meanwhile Environment Minister Norbert Röttgen has also suffered from cuts to his "market stimulus program," which subsidizes the private construction of solar panels, heat pumps and biomass facilities. Funding has been cut in half to 50 million.
The surcharge currently amounts to 0.0359 per kilowatt hour of energy use, which would amount to some 120 per year for an average family. But the Confederation of the German Textile and Fashion Industry hopes to have their case against the payments heard by the Federal Constitutional Court. Their opposition is based on a report they commissioned from Regensburg professor Gerrit Manssen, who wrote of "quite considerable doubt" over whether the surcharge is constitutional.
According to the report, the surcharge is comparable to the "coal penny" tax, a consumer surcharge that subsidized the downsizing of the German coal industry. It was ruled unconstitutional in 1994.
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