Germany’s Green Planners Confident That Growing Wind And Solar Power Will Lead To Even Higher Power Costs

But who cares, right? There’ still Luft nach oben (room for improvement). Germans are only number two when it comes to paying the highest electricity bills in Europe (only the Danes pay more).


Germans already footing the second-highest electricity bills in Europe may face even higher costs from the country’s decision to exit nuclear power early next decade. While there’s no risk of blackouts, costs could rise if transmission gaps emerge, according to Germany’s Bnetza regulator. Europe’s biggest power market is closing its last atomic plants in 2022 and is counting on a mix of mothballed lignite plants, wind and solar power expansion and grid stability measures to keep outages down…

Consumers this year may pay about 24 billion euros ($26.4 billion) in compulsory clean-energy-support fees, levies that are added directly to power bills.

“The lights will stay on. Yet there are two risks in bridging power gaps, namely redispatch and intervention in the market to drive generation up or down that may be cost factors.”

Renewable Energy Keeps Renewing Its Price

Ever upward, of course.


But Germans don’t mind paying this. That’s just the price they have to pay for, uh, the price they have to pay.

Germany’s green energy levy for 2017, the surcharge in consumers bills that supports renewable energy generators, will increase by 8.3% year-on-year to EUR 0.0688 (USD 0.076) per kWh.

Verbraucher müssen zur Förderung von Strom aus Windkraft und Sonne wohl auch im nächsten Jahr tiefer in die Tasche greifen. Die sogenannte Ökostrom-Umlage wird von derzeit 6,35 Cent auf 6,88 Cent pro Kilowattstunde angehoben.

Electricity Prices Rising Dramatically For Some Reason

In a puzzling move that absolutely no one can explain, more than 200 German power suppliers have announced that they will be making big price hikes in the coming year. Consumers will then pay about 11 percent more on average.

Some experts speculate that the unexpected price increases could have to do with the costs associated with the increased efficiency and service currently being witnessed throughout the industry (see yesterday’s post). Others have surmised that these increased costs will be needed by the industry in the winter months to help fight global warming, or cooling in this case. Another group of experts believes that this dramatic move was prompted because Germans, already long used to paying some of the highest energy bills in Europe, just won’t notice and/or care.

Die Preissteigerungen begründen die Konzerne mit den gestiegenen Kosten für die erneuerbaren Energien.

Who Needs Sandy?

Thanks to this dad gern new-fangled Energiewende (energy turnaround), the power goes out in Germany “mit ohne” (without) a damned hurricane these days.

Es ist 16:32 Uhr, für die meisten ist der Feierabend nicht mehr weit. Da zuckt in den Büros kurz das Licht. Im Stadtteil Griesheim gehen die Lampen sogar ganz aus. Zeitumstellung. Es ist dunkel. Rund um die Innenstadt bricht mitten in der Rush Hour der Verkehr zusammen. Die Ampeln tun – zumindest nördlich des Mains – ihren Dienst nicht mehr. S- und Straßenbahnen bleiben auf offener Strecke stehen. In den U-Bahnen geht die Notbeleuchtung an.

Cut The Loses And Run

The German government is about to cut solar subsidies by 30%.

Despite the massive investment, solar power accounts for only about 0.3% of Germany’s total energy. This is one of the key reasons why Germans now pay the second-highest price for electricity in the developed world (exceeded only by Denmark, which aims to be the “world wind-energy champion”).

According to Der Spiegel, even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp Rösler, Germany’s Minister of Economics and Technology, has called the spiralling solar subsidies a “threat to the economy.”

As The Energy Turnaround Turns

Now that the German Energiewende (energy turnaround) is here, tens of thousands of new green jobs have been created. Well, not quite yet actually. But it won’t be long now.

After all, once Berlin decided to permanently switch off the country’s eight oldest nuclear reactors and close the remaining ones still online by 2022, everyone here was absolutely ecstatic (at least those who didn’t work in the energy sector were). Sometimes you just have to give the people what they want, you know? And now they’ve got it. What they wanted, I mean

The same day the Energiewende was announced saw the first case in Germany of a solar panel manufacturer (Solon) announcing it was going into liquidation, threatening the loss of some 500 jobs. Then you had EON, Germany’s biggest power supplier, deciding to cut up to 11,000 jobs worldwide while its rival RWE shed 8,000. Then you had Solar Millennium. Then you had, oh I forget which one (there have been so many recently), solar something or something.

Hey, what’s a little job loss when it comes to the common green good (rhymes with Robin Hood)? These jobs are coming, people, sooner or later or maybe not even at all because, well, not even green jobs grow on trees.

Optimistic predictions that Germany’s decision to turn its back on nuclear energy will lead to the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the renewable energy sector have met with scepticism.