Altmaier considers renewables slow down as cost reality hits home

Speaking at Husum’s Wind Energy Trade Fair on Tuesday, German Environment Minister Peter Altmaier expressed concern at the rate of adoption of renewable energy in the country.

Mr Altmaier hinted that Germany may have to slow down its planned transformation to green energy, in an effort to assuage worries that consumers will bear the brunt of the immense costs of the switch from nuclear.

Peter Altmaier
Government politicians are uneasy about the rising cost of energy bills, with a general election just a year away for Europe’s largest economy.

Reuters reports that thanks in part to a law that guarantees renewables above-market rates, Germany has seen a rapid expansion in solar panels and wind turbines.

"If we let things continue, we will be getting 40 percent or 45 percent of our power from renewable energy by 2020 rather than 35 percent," Altmaier told the audience at Husum, northern Germany.

While the rapid expansion was a good thing, "the faster the expansion of green power is, the more it costs," he said.

Fuelling resentment among some voters is an exemption granted to power-intensive industry, crucial for Germany's big manufacturing sector, which lobbied hard for relief, saying higher bills would put firms' competitiveness at risk.

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