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Germany’s Green Energy Transition Hits Low Income Families Hardest

Martin Greive and Daniel Wetzel, Welt am Sonntag

By 2016 the green energy transition will cost households 540 euros p.a. on average. Business representatives estimate that its total cost will be 100 billion euros in ten years.

The green energy transition is becoming ever more expensive for consumers. By the end of 2016 an average household will incur additional charges of approximately 540 euros. This is evident from calculations by the Institute of the German Economy in Cologne (IW Köln) seen by Welt am Sonntag.

As a result of the increase of the renewables surcharge (EEG) to 6.35 cents, the subsidy costs for renewable energy by the end of 2016 are likely to be around 350 euros higher than in 2011, according to the IW. Since the nuclear phase-out additional network charges cost an average household 142 euros more. If the amendment to subsidise co-generation goes ahead as planned, these costs will rise by 30 euro more compared to  2011.

Then there is the liability allocation for the delayed connection of wind farms on the high seas which are quite new since 2011. Additional cost: 17 euros more for electricity consumers.

Business concerned about rising costs

“Most subsidies are politically questionable,” said IW energy expert Esther Chrischilles, because they hit those on lower incomes particularly hard.

German business is also greatly concerned about rising energy costs. “An increasing  burden on businesses and households to the amount of 100 billion euros in ten years is not unrealistic,” said Eric Schweitzer, president of the German Chamber of Commerce (DIHK). “The Government should pull the emergency brake and give up the capacity mechanism and the increase in CHP support.”

Full story (in German)