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EU probes German power reserve plan amid state aid concerns

Associated Press logo Associated Press 7/04/2017

BRUSSELS — The European Union's anti-trust watchdog is investigating whether German plans to set up an emergency reserve power system comply with state aid rules.

Germany wants the strategic reserve as a buffer in case of shortages as it shifts to low carbon and environmentally sustainable energy sources.

But the EU's executive Commission said Friday it's not convinced that Germany really needs the reserve or whether it's fit for purpose.

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said she aims "to ensure that companies are granted state support only when it is truly necessary and in a manner that limits distortions of competition."

The Commission is also concerned that Germany does not plan to phase out the reserve once its new energy market is operational. It has invited "interested third parties" to comment.

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