Germany hikes electricity charge to finance renewables

Agence France-Presse
German electrical grid operators said Monday, October 15, they were hiking by nearly 50% the charge to consumers that goes to finance subsidies for renewable energy as the country phases out nuclear power

BERLIN, Germany – The electrical grid operators in Germany said Monday, October 15, they were hiking by nearly 50% the charge to consumers that goes to finance subsidies for renewable energy as the country phases out nuclear power.

Consumers will be asked to pay 0.05277 euros ($0.06839) per kilowatt hour of electricity consumed in 2013, the firms announced, compared to a 0.03592-euro surcharge this year.

For an average 3-person house, this 47% increase amounts to an additional 60 euros per year to around 185 euros in add-on power taxes.

In total, the network operators hope to collect more than 20 billion euros to finance renewables.

On Thursday, German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier said that Europe’s top economy wanted to have 40% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2020, up from a previous target of 35%.

Germany decided in the immediate wake of Japan’s 2011 Fukushima nuclear plant disaster to shut down its nuclear reactors by 2022 and ramp up the use of renewable energy.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has made the so-called “Energiewende”, the term used to describe both the end of nuclear power and the promotion of renewable energy sources, one of her government’s priorities.

However, the policy has run into difficulties, notably due to technical and financing problems as well because of local resistance to building new power lines. – Agence France-Presse

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