German industry will still be exempt from bearing most of the costs of the country’s switch to renewable energy under a deal with the EU.
Germany has a law which prevents energy intensive industries paying a surcharge on electricity bills.
But the European Commission says those companies will now have to pay 20 percent of the surcharge.
“Many renewable energy sources have reached a scale and a level of maturity that allows this energy source to compete with other more conventional sources,” said EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia.
“As a result it is time that these technologies respond to market signals and that public support is allocated through a competitive process.”
The agreement applies to 65 sectors in total.
The German government had lobbied hard against tougher rules.
Berlin is exiting nuclear energy and trying to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels.