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Skyrocketing electricity prices are making electricity unaffordable for a large number of Germans

Germany’s Green Energy Policy Hit Households Hard

By —— Bio and Archives--June 10, 2012

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Many people in Germany are no longer able to pay their electricity bills. Skyrocketing electricity prices are making electricity unaffordable for a large number of Germans.  The past year over 600,000 households had their power switched off in Germany because they can’t afford the skyrocketing electric bills.(1)

It’s one way of reducing carbon emissions—just catapult your population back to the Stone Age. This is not a joke. For example, while Germany, Poland and Great Britain were responsible for 56% of the greenhouse gas emission increase in 2010 (a 2.4% jump from 2009), three countries that have crashed economically, Greece, Spain and Portugal, had large emissions savings. (2)

The upward trend in electricity prices in Germany has continued unabated in the first half of 2012. Since January, about 420 suppliers have increased their prices by an average of 3.5 percent. (3)

According to a recent study, the green energy transition could cost German consumers up to 60 percent more by 2020 compared to 2011. Overall, the renewables costs may total 175 billion euros by 2020. (4) So farm Germany has committed over 100 billion euros to renewable energy, all to be paid for by the consumer. Little wonder that today almost a seventh of Germany’s population is now living in ‘energy poverty’. (1)

Germany is phasing out its solar subsidies but the economically revealing part is why they are eliminating subsidies. As Bjorn Lomborg explains; “Subsidizing green technology is affordable only if it’s done in tiny, tokenistic amounts. Using the governments’ generous subsidies, Germans installed 7.5 gigawatts of photovoltaic capacity last year, more than double what the government had deemed acceptable. It is estimated that this increase alone will lead to a $260 hike in the average consumers’ annual power bill.  The moment you try to use green technologies to generate a noticeable portion of a nations’ electricity, the costs rise to ruinous levels. (5)

Here’s a real paradox: As a result of Germany’s green energy transition, nuclear power is on its way out, but coal, Germany’s dirtiest resource, has become the most important energy source again. For Germany’s climate budget, this trend is devastating. Thus, Germany’s energy revolution is suffering a serious setback. The government’s planned energy transition was supposed to, among other things, produce environmentally friendly electricity. It turns out, however, that the power gap which was created by the shutdown of eight nuclear power stations, will be largely filled by brown coal. (6)


  1. P. Gosselin, “Germany succeeds making energy unaffordable for 15% of its population—600,000 households disconnected annually,’, May 1, 2012
  2. P. Gosselin, “Despite tens of billions spent on renewables and steeper energy prices, CO2 output climbs,”, May 31, 2012
  3. P. Gosselin, “15% of German’s threatened by fuel poverty,”, April 30, 2012
  4. Jurgen Flauger, “175 billion euro bombshell: Germany’s green energy policy to hit households hard,”, May 3, 2012
  5. Robert Tracinski,  “The global warming bubble,” Real Clear Markets, March 6, 2012
  6. Claus Hecking, “Back to black: dirty coal celebrates comeback in Germany,” news, March 9, 2012


Jack Dini -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Jack Dini is author of Challenging Environmental Mythology.  He has also written for American Council on Science and Health, Environment & Climate News, and Hawaii Reporter.

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