Minister: 30 percent power cost rise dubious

Minister: 30 percent power cost rise dubious
Photo: DPA
The Environment Minister dismissed warnings from power giants Vattenfall and RWE on Monday that electricity prices would increase by a third by 2020, as dubious.

Head of power company RWE Peter Terium told Monday’s Bild newspaper that electricity prices would rocket because the shift to renewable energy was likely to cost more than anticipated and non-renewable fuels such as coal and gas were becoming more expensive.

This was backed up by head of production for Vattenfall Europe Tuomo Hatakka, who told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Monday that prices of electricity could rise by 30 percent by 2020.

Capital expenditure of €150 billion would be necessary over the next decade alone to enable to transition to greener power, he added.

“Switching to renewable energy is a giant experiment,” Terium told Bild, adding that it was “one that will cost a lot of time and money.”

But Environment Minister Peter Altmeier was quick to dismiss the pair’s prognoses as “dubious”, and said that as Germany moved to renewable power, it was a question of how it was organised that would determine whether consumers pay more for energy.

Keeping prices within a “sustainable framework” was one of his aims, the Christian Democrat politician said on Monday.

He added that new predictions cropped up every day, which was not helping to calm the country’s discussion about electricity.

Altmeier added that the rise in electricity costs over recent years had been linked to coal and gas becoming more expensive, something he maintained has nothing to do with switching over to sustainable power.

DAPD/The Local/jcw

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