Won’t the Energiewende be too expensive for the German public?
No, one goal of the Energiewende is to keep energy affordable in the future. Its two pillars, energy efficiency and the development of renewables, are aimed at reducing dependence on energy imports, increasing security of supply and facilitating profitable investments in Germany.
How much does a family spend on energy each month?
Comparison of monthly expenditure in 2003 and 2013
The price of crude oil rose sharply during the past decade. In 2014, heating oil cost almost twice as much in Germany as it did ten years ago. One effect is that consumers spent over eight percent of their total private consumption expenditure on energy in 2013, compared with less than six percent in the late 1990s. Heating, hot water, cooking and fuel for transport on the basis of imported fossil energy sources account for the largest share of German households’ energy bills. Although oil prices fell at the end of 2014, giving German consumers a welcome respite, no one can count on this in the long run, as the price and availability of fossil fuels depend on international politics.
How much do German households spend on energy in total?
Expenditure in 2013 in billions of euros
It is true that the Energiewende also has knock-on costs. Billions of euros have to be invested in order to set up a new energy infrastructure and carry out energy-efficiency measures. This means that the development of renewable energy was a factor in the increase in the average electricity prices paid by households in Germany in recent years. On average, consumers paid 21 eurocents per kilowatt-hour in 2007. Currently, they pay around 29 eurocents. With every kilowatt-hour of electricity, consumers are sharing the costs of the development of renewable sources via the Renewable Energy Sources Act surcharge, which peaked at 6.24 eurocents per kilowatt-hour of electricity in 2014. However, the rise in costs was halted in 2015, and the surcharge decreased for the first time. The rapidly falling prices for renewables technologies are now having a tangible impact, as is the targeted steering of expansion under the amended Renewable Energy Sources Act. This meant that households paid less for electricity in 2015 than they did during the two previous years.
It is also important to consumers that the German economy is not overburdened. High energy costs have a knock-on effect on product prices and companies’ competitiveness. This is why Germany has exempted some particularly energy-intensive companies from the Renewable Energy Sources Act surcharge. However, companies that have been granted an exemption also have to invest more in energy efficiency.