German Consumers Seen Unscathed by Renewable Energy BoomStefan Nicola
Germany can switch its power supply to rely mostly on renewables while keeping consumer bills little changed because wind and solar plants are producing electricity at ever-lower cost, a study showed.
Agora Energiewende expects the fee Germans pay to finance renewable subsidies to drop by as much as 4 euro cents a kilowatt-hour in the years from 2023 to 2035 to below today’s level of 6.2 euro cents, the Berlin-based researcher said Wednesday. The reason: Solar and wind plants built at a time of high subsidies will lose them, and new ones are producing electricity at a much lower cost.
“Large power price jumps caused by the expansion of renewable energies is a thing of the past,” Patrick Graichen, head of Agora, said in an e-mailed statement. “Now we’re nearing the phase of reaping the benefits of the initial investments.”
Germany has spent about 120 billion euros ($136 billion) in the past decade to shift toward low-polluting energy forms, raising its share of renewable power for electricity to about 28 percent, more than any source including lignite. The model in Germany, the biggest economy in the world to rely so heavily on renewables, is being copied from California to China as wind and solar displace traditional fuels such as nuclear and coal.