Germany’s Expensive Gamble on Renewable Energy

And we just keep rolling those dice here in Ontario

P1-BR137_ENERGI_G_20140826215700WILSTER, Germany—In a sandy marsh on the outskirts of this medieval hamlet, Germany’s next autobahn will soon take shape.

The Stromautobahn, as locals call it, won’t carry Audis and BMW’s BMW.XE -1.11% , but high-voltage electricity over hundreds of miles of aluminum and steel cables stretching from the North Sea to Germany’s industrial corridor in the south.

The project is the linchpin of Germany’s Energiewende, or energy revolution, a mammoth, trillion-euro plan to wean the country off nuclear and fossil fuels by midcentury and the top domestic priority of Chancellor Angela Merkel.

But many companies, economists and even Germany’s neighbors worry that the enormous cost to replace a currently working system will undermine the country’s industrial base and weigh on the entire European economy. Germany’s second-quarter GDP decline of 0.6%, reported earlier this month, put a damper on overall euro-zone growth, leaving it flat for the quarter.

Average electricity prices for companies have jumped 60% over the past five years because of costs passed along as part of government subsidies of renewable energy producers. Prices are now more than double those in the U.S.

read more: Wall Street Journal, Aug 26 2014

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