German minister warns of rising electricity prices

Jun 05, 2012 by JUERGEN BAETZ

(AP) — German Economy Minister Philip Roesler said Tuesday that the country needs to do more to ensure the steady and reasonably priced availability of electricity as the country phases out nuclear power over the next decade.

The debate on the country's energy switchover currently "lacks honesty" as will be rising amid high subsidies for the renewable energies that are set to replace nuclear power by 2022, he said.

Energy prices cannot be predicted exactly — especially as a massive amount of investment is needed to upgrade the electricity grid and power generation — "but it won't be cheaper," Roesler said. Subsidies must be curbed to keep costs in check and safeguard the industry's competitiveness, he said.

Germany permanently switched off the eight oldest of its 17 nuclear reactors last year, just after Japan's Fukushima disaster. The successful transformation or the country's energy sector "will decide on Germany's image as a leading industrial power," added Environment Minister Peter Altmaier.

Both ministers, speaking at a conference taking stock of the country's progress a year after Parliament voted to speed up pulling the plug on nuclear power, were confident that the mammoth transformation of the country's energy sector will go ahead successfully.

"On a sunny day, when the wind blows nicely, we will soon be capable of securing our supply through renewable energies alone," Altmaier said.

The installation of new solar and wind production capacity will reach a new high this year, he said, noting that solar panels across Germany recently produced a "world record" amount of power that was equal to the output of 20 plants, or about half the country's required electricity at that point.

"But there are also cold days," he added, acknowledging that the most difficult part of the government's energy switchover is to ensure Germany will always have enough and affordable energy from fossil-fuel plants to fill the gap when needed.

Wind, solar and other sources currently account for some 20 percent of Germany's electricity production and are set to produce a third of it within a decade, reaching 80 percent by 2050.

The government has yet to find a strategy of how to keep fossil-fuel plants online as a backup. These older power stations have been stripped of their profitability because the priority given to renewable energy. Several companies are also threatening to close some of them.

Roesler maintained the answer cannot be further subsidies to utilities that will drive up electricity prices further. This would affect low income families who would then in turn require a new subsidy as they can no longer afford their power bills.

Subsidies and investment incentives for renewable energies are mostly financed through a special tax on electricity prices paid for by all households that has been rising over the past years — adding up to roughly €157 ($195) per year for a typical family of four.

Explore further: Engineering new vehicle powertrains

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Germany sets weekend record for solar power

May 30, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Solar power plants in Germany have set a new record. “Never before anywhere has a country produced as much photovoltaic electricity," said Norbert Allnoch, Germany’s director of the ...

Wind power in Spain reaches historic high

Mar 31, 2011

Wind power became Spain's main source of electricity for the first time ever this month, in a country renowned for its focus on renewable energy, the power-generating authority REE said Thursday.

German cabinet passes nuclear exit bill

Jun 06, 2011

The German cabinet signed off Monday on a bill phasing out nuclear power in Europe's biggest economy by 2022, prompted by the disaster in March at Japan's Fukushima plant.

German cabinet approves CO2 storage bill

Apr 13, 2011

Germany's cabinet approved a draft law on storing carbon dioxide underground on Wednesday after months of debate as Europe's top economy wrangles over energy policy following Japan's nuclear disaster.

Germany to cut solar subsidies to households

Jan 20, 2011

Germany plans to slash subsidies paid to households generating electricity with their own solar panels by up to 15 percent, and six months earlier than planned, the government said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Engineering new vehicle powertrains

14 hours ago

Car engines – whether driven by gasoline, diesel, or electricity – waste an abundance of energy. Researchers are working on ways to stem this wastefulness. Ultramodern test facilities are helping them ...

First self-contained step dimming LED tube

Sep 30, 2014

Samsung Electronics today introduced the industry's first AC Direct step-dimming LED linear replacement for T8 and T12 fluorescent tubes at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Convention ...

Battery system will be able to light 2,500 homes

Sep 30, 2014

One of the largest, most environmentally-friendly, battery-based energy storage systems in the nation will be installed at the University of California, San Diego the campus announced today (Sept. 29).

User comments : 15

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Vendicar Dickarian
3 / 5 (8) Jun 05, 2012
Amazing...a German politician just stood up and admitted that the insane policy of throwing away a proven, reliable and cheap source of energy based purely on irrational fears might actually have a downside. I'd imagine he'll be sacked shortly.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2012
Erm...just to put this into perspective. Phillip Roesler is head of the FDP. A party which is rapidly fading below the 5 percent mark. Best known for being in bed with big business, and especially energy companies that are heavily invested in nuclear and coal. (Taxcuts for the rich and the likes are their platforms)

Anything he says can (and has been) safely disregarded.

Peter Altmaier is a leading figure of the bavarian CSU (ultra conservatives - only marginally better than neo-nazis in some of their party program)...likewise a solid affiliate with (and crony of) big business for decades.
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 05, 2012
He is also Vice Chancellor. And he's right. Its not the average power supplied by wind and solar, its the minimum. And that approaches zero more often than people realize.

"ThyssenKrupp, Germany's largest steelmaker, sold its Krefeld stainless steel mill to Finnish competitor Outukumpu two weeks ago. The new owner plans to shut down production by the end of next year, leaving more than 400 workers without a job. The economic loss to this stricken city on the lower Rhine will be significant.

The closing of the Krefeld mill cannot be blamed on low-wage competition from the Far East or mismanagement at ThyssenKrupp's Essen headquarters, but rather on the misguided policies of the German government."

http://www.spiege...669.html

By 2050, if Germany continues this stupidity, there will be million of fewer jobs. They won't even need the renewables they have now.
NotParker
1.6 / 5 (7) Jun 05, 2012
"The price of electricity is moving in only one direction: steeply up. For the Krefeld plant, the cost of a kilowatt hour of electricity has tripled since 2000."

"A majority of German companies said theyre concerned theyll lose their competitive edge because of higher electricity costs linked to government plans to exit nuclear energy and power Europes biggest economy on renewables."

http://www.bloomb...mes.html

Before total disaster, there will be unrest, then re-armament, and then Germany will be forced to invade its neighbors again to ensure enough power.
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2012
The dutch have been using wind power to keep the sea from inundating their nation for the last 2,000 years according to ParkerTard.

Apparently Windpower is magic. Capable of actually creating a nation but not capable of producing electricity.

"Its not the average power supplied by wind and solar, its the minimum. And that approaches zero more often than people realize." - ParkerTard
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2012
Complete Claptrap. Germany can't compete in steel production for the same reason that the U.S. and Canada, or any other western nation can't compete.

China has better production costs, in part due to lower pay scales.

What ParkerTard's vice chancellor is really saying is that the German Government's policy should be to lower the income of Germans so that they can compete with China.

This is also the American Conservative policy. Impoverish Americans to keep the wealth on the gravy train.

"The closing of the Krefeld mill cannot be blamed on low-wage competition from the Far East or mismanagement at ThyssenKrupp's Essen headquarters, but rather on the misguided policies of the German government." - ParkerTard

Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2012
"Oh my Gawad, the sky is falling, the sky is falling" - ParkerTard

"Before total disaster, there will be unrest, then re-armament, and then Germany will be forced to invade its neighbors again to ensure enough power." - ParkerTard

"The Space Nazi's are re-organizing" - ParkerTard

ParkerTard is growign absolutely delusional.
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 05, 2012
Complete Claptrap. Germany can't compete in steel production for the same reason that the U.S. and Canada, or any other western nation can't compete.

China has better production costs, in part due to lower pay scales.


And lower energy prices thanks to coal. The greens in Germany are killing the economy by making electricity triple the cost it was in 2000.

I think Germans companies are willing to compete their skilled trades with China's if energy was the same cost.

But the greens are killing Germany.

And Germany will soon lash out as they have in the past.

NotParker
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 05, 2012
The dutch have been using wind power to keep the sea from inundating their nation for the last 2,000 years according to ParkerTard.


They've switched to electrical pumps. Which they won't be able to afford to keep running. Because of greenies.

Bye Bye Netherlands.
Vendicar_Decarian
3 / 5 (4) Jun 05, 2012
"They've switched to electrical pumps" - ParkerTard

Ok so by your chronology they have only been using wind power for 1900 years rather than 2000.

I find it odd that you would claim that they have been using wind powered pumps since Biblical times.

But hay.... You are the one suffering from grand delusions here. It's your fantasy.

But apparently this magical wind thing can't be used to generate electricity.

Vendicar_Decarian
2.3 / 5 (3) Jun 05, 2012
"The economic sky is falling.. The economic sky is falling..." - Chicken ParkerTard

"The greens in Germany are killing the economy by making electricity triple the cost it was in 2000." - ParkerTard

Your head is going to really explode when American food prices triple due to higher oil prices and the ongoing desertification of the U.S. breadbasket.
NotParker
1.7 / 5 (6) Jun 05, 2012
"They've switched to electrical pumps" - ParkerTard

Ok so by your chronology they have only been using wind power for 1900 years rather than 2000.



They started to phase out windmills 185 years ago.

"The first use of steam for pumping was in 1825 at the Arkelse Dam, near Gorinchem. Radial or centrifugal pumps replaced the water-wheels driven by windmills."

http://whc.unesco...list/867
Vendicar_Decarian
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2012
Windmill irrigation was the main method of extracting ground water in the wild wild west.

And aren't you Tards always whining about America going back to it's roots?

http://www.windmills.net/

http://fineartame...gna.html

http://www.ehow.c...rgy.html

http://www.windmi...oks.html

"They started to phase out windmills 185 years ago." - ParkerTard

Still laughing at ParkieTard
Vendicar_Decarian
4 / 5 (4) Jun 06, 2012
http://www.youtub...ure=plcp

One down, 100 more to go.
antialias_physorg
3.7 / 5 (3) Jun 06, 2012
And lower energy prices thanks to coal. The greens in Germany are killing the economy by making electricity triple the cost it was in 2000.

Fantasy numbers won't get you anywhere. That the price of electricity will rise is also not an argument anymore. If cheap energy kills you then at some point you have to let go of cheap energy. But taken all ancillary costs into account alternative energy schemes are still WAY cheaper than fossil/nuclear. Only if you ignore cleanup/waste management/cost of associated risks rae they cheaper. But if you ignore all that then you're not making a fair comparison.

And Germany will soon lash out as they have in the past.

Against whom and why? (and most importantly: with what?).