Germany May Need to Slow Its Shift to Green Energy, Official Says

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Germany’s environment minister said Tuesday that the country might have to slow its shift to renewable energy to quell concerns about rising consumer costs.

A year after the government decided to phase out nuclear power following Japan’s Fukushima disaster, Germany has indeed been able to increase renewable energy generation, with solar and wind incentives helping the country produce more than 25 percent of its power from cleaner sources.

But that rapid growth is causing higher costs for consumers and placing an increased strain on the energy grid, Environment Minister Peter Altmaier told the Financial Times Deutschland. “These are costs that can be avoided with good planning,” Altmaier said.

While a senior Social Democrat called a slower shift to renewable energy “unacceptable,” members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration are seeking legislation that would reduce the burden on consumers. On Monday, the energy group Vattenfall reported that Germany’s current green energy targets would likely require an investment of 150 billion euros ($188 billion) by 2020, causing a 30-percent increase in electricity costs.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

About Author

Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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