“This will either be paid by energy customers or taxpayers,” the Siemens board member in charge of energy issues Michael Süß told the Reuters news service, estimating costs of about €1.7 trillion. “As an industry, Germany has always reached it goals. Now the whole world is looking at us. If the energy shift should fail ... it would undermine Germany's credibility as an industry nation.”
Reuters news agency said the estimate was based on the costs of expanding renewable energy sources. Costs could be reduced if Germans relied more on gas, Süß said.
Siemens built all of Germany's 17 nuclear plants and offered technical support until the German government announced last spring it would begin phasing out nuclear energy in the wake of the Japanese Fukushima earthquake and tsunami disaster, with a shut down largely complete by 2022.
Jürgen R. Großmann, head of German energy provider RWE, has previously estimated phase-out costs of up to €300 billion. State-owned investment bank KfW has estimated costs of about €250 billion over the next ten years.
While green campaigners have hailed the end of German nuclear energy, industry leaders have repeatedly warned that the country's power grid would be put at risk in future years.