Electricity prices in Germany to rise by 30 percent

German people will have to pay a third more for their electricity in the years ahead as a result of the government’s shift in energy policy, the power group Vattenfall Europe forecast Tuesday.

"The electricity bill for private customers will be 30 percent higher in 2020 than it is today," the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung quoted Vattenfall Europe chief Tuomo Hatakka as saying.

The rise in prices is largely due to the government’s policy of shutting down its nuclear power plant and a series of measures in favor of fostering growth of renewable energy sources, which has incurred heavy financial costs on a number of major power suppliers in the country.

The German government decided to abandon nuclear energy in the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan and remarkably lower the proportion of fossil fuels in its energy consumption.

The price-rise will be largely shouldered by private customers, as large investments will be needed to switch to renewable energy and the related network infrastructure.

Germany has drawn an ambitious blueprint to reach a stage where 35 percent of its total electricity from comes solar, wind and other renewable energy by 2020, from the current 20 percent. By 2050, it hopes up to 80 percent of its power will come from green sources.

So far, major power suppliers in Germany have brought lawsuits to the German constitutional court, alleging the government’s new policies violate their legal rights and proprietary rights by forcing them to close down reactors earlier than planned.

"We expect fair compensation for the damages we’ve suffered from the energy-transition," Vattenfall Europe chief Hatakka said.