Thibaut Madelin summarizes the current state of magical thinking:
BERLIN – After the initial euphoria, it’s back to earth for Germans. The decision to exit nuclear power was initially quite popular, but today many are having second thoughts. Their main issue with the decision is its resulting cost, which is paid for by households and small businesses but has spared big industrial consumers.
When she decided to quit the atom, just after the Fukushima disaster, Chancellor Angela Merkel had promised that electricity prices would stay affordable. A year later, there is a risk electricity bills will surge to the point where Peter Altmaier, the new environment and energy minister, is working on a project to reform energy financing and subsidies. He intends to present a first draft in the fall for a reform that will take place after the September 2013 elections.
“The implementation of this energy transition has to be reasonable from an economic perspective and acceptable from a financial one,” said the minister last week. “In this context, energy prices in Germany cannot differ too strongly and durably from those applied in the countries of our main competitors.”
The contrast is manifest between the two banks of the Rhine. A French household pays an average of 140 euros per megawatt-hour for its electricity, whereas a German family has to pay approximately 260 euros.
Thanks to Forum on Energy for the link.