The policy of “energy transformation” undertaken by Germany in the 2000 could result in a 20 per cent increase in the cost of electricity to consumers in 2014, announces Süddeutsche Zeitung, on the eve of the presentation of a report by the Federal Monopolies Commission, which has examined the impact of the shift to renewables. The daily calculates the additional cost to householders at €40 per year, even though “the market price of electricity has not been so low in years.”

The paradox is explained by the amount added to energy bills by funding for the “energy transformation” policy. As the daily points out, “the more extensive supply of energy has lowered the market price.” But to avoid losing money, the operators, who have to pay producers a fixed price for green energy, have passed on the difference between the fixed rate and the market price to their customers: “And the more market price declines, the more this cost weighs on consumers.”

Dissent over what Süddeutsche Zeitung describes as this “absurd” model is growing in Germany, and the daily is not the only critical voice in the German press. This week’s Der Spiegel has published a feature on the “Ghost in the power supply,” which is threatening to undermine the energy transformation policy. The outcry has reached a point where Chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged that the 2000 law will be reformed after the elections on September 22, while her social-democratic rival Peer Steinbrück has described her management of the issue as “disastrous”, reports Der Spiegel.