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German Power Premium Most Since ’98 Tests Voters: Energy Markets

Germany’s drive to increase renewable energy sources has created the biggest discrepancy between consumer and producer power prices in 15 years, turning the cost of electricity into a political battleground before the Sept. 22 national election.

Because of taxes and charges that subsidize the country’s 550 billion-euro ($734 billion) plan to expand solar and wind power, residential bills are more than twice the amount that utilities pay to deliver the electricity, according to Berlin-based lobby group BDEW. Costs are 68 percent higher than in 1998, leaving Germans paying more for their power than any other nation in the European Union except Cyprus and Denmark, EU data show.