Germany could face a serious energy shortage over the next decade if it doesn't start building new power plants, said the German Energy Agency. As a result, energy prices are likely to rise dramatically.
Could light become a luxury?
By 2020, Germany could face an energy shortage that is equivalent to the output of 15 power plants, according to a study by the German Energy Agency (Dena), which could mean higher prices for consumers.
"More and more plans to build power plants have been put on hold," Dena chief Stephan Kohler told the Braunschweiger Zeitung on Thursday, March 20.
Germany has pledged to phase out nuclear power plants by 2020, which Kohler said his organization is not opposed to. Plans to build up to 25 coal plants have met with resistance, mainly from environmental groups.
Efforts to replace old power plants with new ones have met opposition
Kohler appealed to both Germany's politicians and economic leaders to allow the building of new power plants, which he said emit around one third less carbon dioxide than the old plants.
Price hikes ahead
Juergen Grossmann, the head of German power giant RWE, last month told the press that "there are not enough power stations" across Europe and that blackouts could be a result.
The German government countered by saying that the country's energy supply was currently not at risk.
Last week, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung opined that, in light of possible energy shortages, it was "ironic" that environment groups and residents protest replacing old power plants, as the newer models are actually less polluting.
"That's bad for consumer prices, because producers have to buy much more expensive certificates, and it's bad for competition because new contractors postpone investment due to the many uncertainties or cancel projects altogether," wrote the daily.