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German Companies Go Off the Grid

posted Mar 15, 2014, 2:09 PM by Frederick H. Schuchardt   [ updated Mar 15, 2014, 2:14 PM ]
In Germany, one in every six companies now generates its own electricity. 16 percent of all German companies produced their own power last year, according to the German Chamber of Commerce, up from about 10 percent a year earlier. 23 percent more companies are considering joining this trend. Companies as large as Dow Chemical, with a plant that consumes one percent of the entire country’s electricity, and as small as rural, family-owned businesses, are investing in their own power-generation infrastructure. The driver is the 22 percent government-mandated levy to fund renewable energy sources, which has resulted in high electricity prices.

Because Germany plans to drop nuclear power within the next eight years, and most fossil fuels by mid-century, it’s promoting solar, wind, and other green, renewable energy sources by delivering subsidies for their adoption. Generating their own power saves companies from the surcharge, and also makes them eligible for the subsidies that encourage energy efficiency and renewable- energy sourced electricity. Costs can be cut by as much as 50 percent by avoiding the surcharge and collecting those subsidies. It’s a bottom line approach that offers real profits to those companies who are making the investment in energy of the future.

Article by John Howell, appearing courtesy 3BL Media.

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