One year after Germany’s nuclear phase-out, the German Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DIHK) continues to complain about high electricity prices. “German companies need internationally competitive energy prices and are dependent on a secure supply,” said DIHK President Peter Adrian to the newspapers of the Funke media group.

Adrian pointed out that German electricity prices on the stock exchange are still twice as high as in 2019. However, prices have fallen over the past year. Together with taxes, network fees and levies, the costs are sometimes four times higher than in other countries, said Adrian. “There are currently many reasons why this competitive disadvantage will continue to exist in the future. At the same time, many companies are reporting to us about smaller and larger power outages,” continues Adrian. In Germany, the last three nuclear power plants went offline on April 15, 2023.

Strengthen electricity infrastructure in Europe

For the future, Adrian demanded: “We can therefore only switch off existing power plants when other services are securely available. For a secure energy mix, in addition to weather-independent renewables such as hydropower, deep geothermal energy and biomass, gas and probably coal-fired power plants are necessary at least until until energy storage and hydrogen power plants are sufficiently available,” he explained.

He also suggested further strengthening the European cross-border electricity infrastructure. A common European supply would be more efficient and safer, said Adrian.

According to the Federal Association of the Energy and Water Industry, the average electricity price for industry for new contracts at the beginning of 2024 was 17.65 cents per kilowatt hour; in 2019 it was 18.43 cents. At that time, around a third of this was still due to the EEG surcharge, which is no longer due. In the energy crisis following the Russian attack on Ukraine in 2020, the price shot up to 43.20 cents.