Published: Sunday 15 April 2001

In what can be termed a landmark ruling, the European court of justice has decided that Germany's legislation that concerns subsidising renewable energies does not violate trade laws of the European Union (EU). The ruling clearly indicates that free trade is not as important as EU's obligation to cut greenhouse gases. The issue first came up in 1998 when the Hanover-based company, Preussen Elektra, filed a case over excessive prices of wind power it had to pay to another north German company Schleswag. Preussen Elektra complained that the German law, which allowed extra costs allocated on renewable energies, amounted to a violation of European rules on trade restriction.

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