Renewables Push Up German Electric Rates
German household energy prices have soared 80 percent in the last eight years due to the costs of subsidizing renewable energy. The main driver has been the so-called "renewable energy reallocation charge," which cost customers $33 billion last year alone.
"Since 2008, this charge has increasingly reallocated money from the poor to the rich, e.g. from poor tenants in the Ruhr area to wealthy homeowners in Bavaria who put solar panels on their roofs," write Bjorn Lomborg on In. "The charge has skyrocketed from 1.15 ct/kWh in 2008 to 6.24 ct/kWh this year. Since then, another 1.4 million households slipped into energy poverty. German consumers have already paid €109 billion for renewable energies since 2000, with greater costs looming on the horizon. Between 2000 and 2013, real German electricity prices for households have increased 80%. About one quarter of household electricity costs now stem directly from renewable energy."
In addition, the need to substitute for nuclear and the failure of renewable sources to make up the difference have left Germany every more dependent on Russian oil and gas. Imports now constitute more than 30 percent of German consumption. As Joshua Keating writes on Slate, "No Nukes, No Russian Gas, No Solar, No Fracking: How Exactly Does Germany Plan to Keep the Lights On?”