FRANKFURT Aug 14 Germany's electricity prices
risk becoming a burden for consumers as overly generous
renewable power subsidies are passed on, European Energy
Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in a German newspaper on
Tuesday, demanding a price cap.
"When the new price for renewable subsidies (for 2013)
becomes known in the autumn, we will have to talk about a
limit," Oettinger told mass circulation Bild in an interview.
"Otherwise, the costs for (retail) customers and industry
will run out of control," he said. "The expansion of solar and
wind power must be linked to the corresponding expansion of
transmission networks and storage plants."
Germany has the second highest power prices in Europe,
mainly due to its high taxes and fees which include paying
above-market rates for green power via so-called feed-in
Transmission firms are due in October to present estimates
for the 2013 surcharge to be added on for the funding of
Given record new solar power installations this year, they
are likely to rise sharply when the new units start collecting
An increase for the likely green power element next year is
expected to rise to over 5 cents per kilowatt hour from 3.6
cents applied in 2012, which will put the government under
pressure to find ways to mitigate the burden for users.
This is notwithstanding falling prices in the power
wholesale market, where levels are down 8 percent from 2012
peaks in February due to weak demand in the euro zone.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Jason Neely)