Consumers in Germany pay some of the highest electricity prices in Europe, second only to Denmark. Most of what Germans pay, however, doesn’t go toward keeping the lights on.
At least 54 percent of the price per kilowatt hour, which currently stands at 28.73 euro cents, or $0.31, comes from state-mandated fees to support the country’s ambitious transition to renewable energy sources, according to Germany Association of Energy and Water Industries.
The power companies have grown concerned that the burden on private and corporate consumers could make green electricity a less attractive option for heating homes and offices and fueling automobiles.
“We are running into a paradoxical situation where the fees that made the expansion of renewable energy possible now stand in the way of further expansion because they shut off new markets for green electricity,” said Johannes Teyssen, the head of utility firm E.ON, at a conference on energy hosted by Handelsblatt in Berlin.