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Ahead of the official release from the four leading German high voltage network operators (TSOs) next week, Reuters has released information that the push towards green power could cause the country’s renewable energy surcharge to rocket by almost 47% by next year. The article states that this is a reflection of the increasing amount of electricity from renewable sources, bought from producers at guaranteed prices above market rates.
The so-called 'Umlage' – charges levied on German consumers to support renewable power – will rise to €0.053 per kWh in 2013 from €0.036 in 2012. The renewable surcharge covers the difference between guaranteed prices paid for renewable energy and market prices for conventional energy.
Claims have been made that the surcharge will increase household power bills by more than 7% next year. “Together with a rising burden from footing the bill for the industry exemptions, retail prices might actually rise by 11% , which would be biggest jump seen in 10 years”, asserts the Reuters report.
Germany’s rapid move from nuclear power following the meltdown at Fukishima forced Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government to announce that it wants to maintain a solar “growth corridor” of 2,500-3,000MW per year. In an attempt to pacify consumers on rising household electricity bills before next year’s election, environment minister Peter Altmaier stated that installations would be capped at 52GW.
Furthermore, the German Federal Network Agency reported at the beginning of October that PV installations in Germany were significantly sluggish in August, with the country adding only 330MW of new PV capacity, compared to 612MW in August 2011 and 543MW in July 2012.