Library filed under Impact on Economy from Germany

Energy costs widen gap in competitiveness

Consumers are less willing to foot the whole bill for policies to mitigate global warming. The shift in the debate is most conspicuous in Germany, where the Energiewende – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s historic drive wind and solar ­– has left German consumers with among the highest prices for electricity in Europe. The German environment ministry says the total cost of the Energiewende could reach about €1tn.
14 Oct 2013

Merkel looks left to rescue Germany's energy revolution

The German chancellor's experiment to wean Europe's biggest economy off nuclear and fossil fuels and push it into renewables is at risk because generous subsidies have proved so popular with investors in green power that the country is straining under the cost. ...The offshore wind industry, in particular, is clamouring for continued support as its expansion has proven more costly than expected.
26 Sep 2013

German power premium most since '98 tests voters: Energy markets

Germany's drive to increase renewable energy sources has created the biggest discrepancy between consumer and producer power prices in 15 years, turning the cost of electricity into a political battleground before the Sept. 22 national election. Because of taxes and charges that subsidize the country's 550 billion-euro ($734 billion) plan to expand solar and wind power, residential bills are more than twice the amount that utilities pay to deliver the electricity.
19 Sep 2013

Germany industry in revolt as green dream causes cost spiral

"We need a drastic policy shift. They haven't paid any attention to costs. These are now huge." German electricity costs are ratcheting up faster than elsewhere in Europe, and are now twice US levels. Households and the "Mittlestand" backbone of the economy are carrying the burden, paying cross-subsidies to exempted sectors of heavy industry. "Spiralling energy costs will soon drive us into the wall. It has become dangerous."
19 Sep 2013

Germany's energy poverty: How electricity became a luxury good

This year, German consumers will be forced to pay €20 billion ($26 billion) for electricity from solar, wind and biogas plants -- electricity with a market price of just over €3 billion. Even the figure of €20 billion is disputable if you include all the unintended costs and collateral damage associated with the project. Solar panels and wind turbines at times generate huge amounts of electricity, and sometimes none at all. Depending on the weather and the time of day, the country can face absurd states of energy surplus or deficit.
5 Sep 2013

Ballooning costs threaten Merkel's bold energy overhaul

So attractive are the incentives, or feed-in tariffs, that the rapid expansion of renewable power has driven up the surcharges which fund them and are paid for by consumers. The charge rose by 47 percent this year alone. Both households and industry are feeling the pain and exporters complain that the energy shift has driven up power prices so much that their competitiveness is being eroded.
28 Aug 2013

Unfair competition? EU takes on German Green Energy Law

Under the law, German electricity users pay a charge that goes towards funding renewable energy generation. Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia believes that exemptions granted to some energy-intensive German companies from those charges run counter to EU law. The Commission plans to launch proceedings and also require companies to repay the charges they were exempted from in the past.
15 Jul 2013

Green Energy Bust in Germany

Germany is indeed avoiding blackouts—by opening new coal- and gas-fired plants. Renewable electricity is proving so unreliable and chaotic that it is starting to undermine the stability of the European grid and provoke international incidents. The spiraling cost of the renewables surge has sparked a backlash, including government proposals to slash subsidies and deployment rates. Worst of all, the Energiewende made no progress at all in clearing the German grid of fossil fuels or abating greenhouse emissions—nor is it likely to for at least a decade longer.
1 Jul 2013

Tilting at windmills; Germany's Energiewende bodes ill for the country's European leadership

Because producers of renewables are paid a fixed price, their subsidy rises as the spot price of electricity falls. On cloudy days Germany relies ever more on brown coal. ...The cost of this mess is passed on to electricity users. Household fuel bills have gone up by a quarter over the past three years ...because the contracts guaranteeing renewables prices are set for 20 years, the problem will get worse as more supplies come on stream.
15 Jun 2013

Merkel warns on energy costs

Speaking at an energy conference in Berlin, Ms. Merkel said she still supports further expansion of renewable energy such as wind and solar power to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. But she said the costs need to be contained as global rivals are benefiting from lower energy prices. Utility executives welcomed her recognition, but criticized her for remaining vague on specifics.
13 Jun 2013

Merkel's no-nuke stumble may erode re-election support

Merkel's main opponent in the election, Peer Steinbrueck of the Social Democratic Party, is capitalizing on discontent with the energy switch. In December, he said at an SPD summit that Germans now live in fear of power outages because of government missteps. One month later, the SPD beat Merkel's CDU in a vote in Lower Saxony -- the third straight regional defeat for the incumbent party and a sign that its lead in the national election may be eroding.
11 Apr 2013

Merkel Losing Allies in $700 Billion Shift to Renewables

With consumer power bills increasing and Merkel facing elections in September, Germany's energy policy is rising on the political agenda. The cost of developing wind farms in the North Sea has surged following construction glitches and delays in linking turbines to the grid. "The entire energy switch has derailed," Marc Nettelbeck, an analyst at DZ Bank AG, said this week by phone from Frankfurt. "The difficulties connecting offshore wind farms to the power grid reduces their profitability and renders the original investment calculations of utilities invalid."
5 Apr 2013
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