With a minimum stake of €500, German citizens would be able to invest in the construction of electricity lines to service new renewable power parks, as old nuclear power stations go offline.
This means citizens will have a chance to have their share of the profits “that the energy transition will generate,” Altmaier said in an interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper published on Sunday.
He added that he wanted the scheme to be up and running before the next general election, due in autumn 2013.
Altmaier is plannig to reserve 15 percent of the shares in the new power lines for ordinary citizens, particularly those living in the areas where the lines will be constructed.
The minister is hoping the scheme will take the edge off opposition to the new constructions, since it means some of the profit that energy giants are expecting to make from the transition would go to consumers.
But there are still plenty of misgivings about the new power lines. Southern German states have expressed their concern about being dependent on North Sea coast wind parks for their energy.
Bavarian state premier Horst Seehofer has said he would prefer to invest in regional energy providers, or even make a deal with Russian energy giant Gazprom. Such plans have made some critics sceptical that the expensive north-south power lines will be needed in ten years’ time.