According to the Institute for Energy Research, this year German electricity rates will increase by over 10% due to a surcharge for using more renewable energy and a further 30 to 50% price increase is expected in the next ten years.
Without a change in course, says the government, costs could rise to 40 cents/kWh by 2020. At present-day prices, the average German family of three pays about 90 euros per month for electricity, the equivalent of about US $135—about twice as much as in the year 2000.
The government is investing heavily in onshore and offshore wind farms and solar technology in an effort to reduce 40% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
Last year Chancellor Angela Merkel, who this week won her third term as Germany’s leader, proposed to construct offshore wind farms in the North Sea, a plan that would cost 200 billion euros ($270 billion), according to the DIW economic institute in Berlin.
As part of the energy drive, Merkel also pledged to permanently shut down the country’s 17 nuclear reactors, which fuel 18% of the country’s power needs. Under Germany’s Atomic Energy Act, the last nuclear power plant will be disconnected by 2022.
Limburg told CNN the rapid transition to renewables is economically “insane,” arguing that wind farms will cost at least 13 times more than traditional coal plants.
North (Sea) wind farms can provide 25% of electricity production. Onshore wind could produce a higher share. Offshore wind energy is important for North Germany as already a lot of jobs have been created.
So $200 billion will be spent to replace the nuclear reactors which could be allowed continued operation.