German green transition pricey

Germans set to pay even more for energy in wake of move away from nuclear power

Germany’s program of Energiewende—“energy transition”—which involves transitioning to more sustainable development, including using renewable sources of energy, is showing signs of stress as German consumers face rising energy prices.

Germans—who currently pay the highest electricity prices in Europe—are now looking at an upcoming rise in the renewable-energy surcharge tacked on to their bills, set to increase from today’s 5.3 cents per kilowatt hour to as much as 6.5 cents per kilowatt hour, according to Spiegel Online. German Chancellor Angela Merkel began phasing out nuclear power shortly after the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear-plant disaster.

While his predecessor, Jürgen Tritten, had predicted that changing over to renewable sources of energy, such as wind and solar, “wasn’t going to cost more than one scoop of ice cream,” current Environment Minister Peter Altmaier was quoted as saying that Germans are now paying enough to “eat everything on the ice cream menu.”