Cost to Germans of subsidizing renewable energy to rise 20 per cent, a problem for new gov't

BERLIN – The cost to Germans of subsidizing renewable energy is set to rise nearly 20 per cent next year — highlighting a problem for the government as it manages the country’s exit from nuclear power.

Chancellor Angela Merkel decided two years ago to shut down Germany’s nuclear power plants by 2022. But much needs to be done to reorganize the electricity supply and keep down costs.

Merkel says an urgent priority is reforming legislation under which generators of solar, wind and other renewable energies are guaranteed fixed income. Consumers pay a subsidy to make up the difference between that and market prices — which have fallen.

Electricity network operators said Tuesday the subsidy will rise next year to 6.24 euro cents (8.5 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour from the current 5.23 cents.