Germany to overhaul renewable energy subsidies

Tax hike on households of up to 50% needed to fund expansion.

BERLIN — Germany’s environment minister says the country must overhaul the tax financing expansion of renewable energies to keep costs in check and ensure a smooth phasing out of nuclear power by 2022.

Peter Altmaier presented a roadmap to reform the system of subsidies and investment incentives for expansion of wind, solar and biomass power that already produce a quarter of Germany’s electricity.

Subsidies are financed through a tax on electricity prices paid by all households.

Analysts say the recent expansion of renewable energies will require a tax hike of up to 50% starting next year.

Altmaier says the system must be overhauled if Germany is to reach its goal of using renewable sources to generate 40% of its electricity within a decade and 80% by 2050.