In response, Chancellor Angela Merkel's cabinet plans to revise Germany's energy laws in coming weeks. The new regulations would have self-generating companies pay part of the renewables surcharge and raise the bar for some green subsidies, according to a published draft of the bill.
Car-parts maker ZF Friedrichshafen AG, which spent #$%$2 million on a new two-megawatt electricity- and heat-generation plant, is now reassessing whether to proceed with a second generating unit as a result of the potential change to energy legislation, said Mario Heusinger, the company's maintenance chief.
Electrical self-reliance has its share of drawbacks. It can require large initial investments and force companies to manage equipment unrelated to their core business, though most contract out maintenance. Companies also usually keep some link to the grid for emergencies.
But the increasing instability of Germany's power grid, along with higher electricity costs, is leading many companies—whose highly automated facilities demand stable current—to take the leap.
Germany's electrical network was built to move gigawatts from relatively few large plants to users nationwide. New wind farms and solar arrays are scattered geographically and require new grid capacity to ship electricity from mostly rural areas to urban centers. Power-grid companies are struggling to adapt, and regulators say the grid's stability has suffered as a result.
Decentralization now adds yet another headache for traditional producers like utility giants E.ON SE EOAN.XE +0.07% and RWE AG RWE.XE +0.02% . With fewer industrial customers, they face plunging revenues, exacerbating difficult market conditions.
Warwick GmbH, an electric bass-guitar maker based in the eastern town of Markneukirchen, near the Czech border, produces all the electricity it needs through its own natural-gas-powered plant, solar roof-mounted facilities and a boiler fueled by wood waste from its guitars.
Warwick, which has annual sales of about #$%$24 million, or roughly $33 million, spent more than #$%$3.7 million on self-generation, and founder Hans-Peter Wilfer isn't sure when the investment will pay off. "But in times of ballooning power prices, this will be worthwhile," he said.
Partly because it aims to drop nuclear power within the next eight years and most fossil fuels by midcentury, Germany is aggressively promoting solar, wind and other green renewable-energy sources. To pay for this shift, the government has slapped a surcharge of about 22% on power bills for businesses and households. The levy, first imposed in 2000, has nearly tripled since 2010. As a result, industrial electricity bills have risen by more than 10% since 2005, while wholesale power prices have held steady.
Roughly 16% of German companies were producing their own power by the middle of last year, according to the German Chamber of Commerce—up from about 10% a year earlier. A further 23% of companies are considering joining the fray, the chamber said.
FRANKFURT—German companies are going off the grid.
Every sixth company in Europe's largest economy now generates its own electricity, roughly 50% more than one year ago, according to Germany's Chamber of Commerce and Industry. They range from rural family-owned companies to a vast Dow Chemical Co. DOW +0.10% plant that consumes 1% of the country's electricity.
The reason? Ever-higher electricity prices—driven in part by a 22% government-mandated levy to fund renewable-energy sources—are prompting companies large and small to invest in their own power-generation infrastructure. Doing so not only shields them from the government surcharge, but also makes them eligible for subsidies designed to encourage energy efficiency and so-called green electricity.
Michael Salcher, head of the energy and natural-resources practice at consultancy KPMG in Germany, estimates that companies that avoid the surcharge and receive subsidies can cut their electricity bills by around 50%.
have bought everything they want consumer is tapped on food oil gas etc and no money to buy non discretionary stuff like remodeling etc... The mortage bankers said applications for refis and home prchase at 20 year low last week... so home depot is hugely overpriced imo. Lets see where it is in 90 days
The days not over yet/ actually we don;t need a war for gold to rise and I don't want to see it.
The fed endless money printing is all we need...
on sky high energy and food prices and is putting away their credit cards for good !
warning and the movement away from sugary soda can't be good news for overpriced coke can it ?
I am replying to this so that new hecla retailers can understand why Hecla is probably the best stock in the world to own at this time at this price level...
As the fed continues to print money at the rate of 1.2 billion ever 10 hours you could buy all of hecla for that price..
Buy with confidence the big moves have not yet started....
gold and silver even approach those highs..
And in 2011 Hecla did not own GOLD MINE and has much more reserves than it did then...
AND SHULMAN GOLD IS GOING UP MORE THAN SILVER TODAY SO DON:T EVEN BOTHER TO COMMENT LOL..
We all heard from Janet who is ben on Steroids that the taper is never going to happen
(that's what I heard) as she quickly backpedaled on using the employment rate to taper and also made sure everyone know these QE tapersare only dependent on improving economic conditions...
They are already coming put with weak GDP factory orders mortage application etc priming the pump so to speak.
Here is my top 10 list for the FED NOT to TAPER:
Upcoming Reasons NOT to TAPER:
10. It 's too cold
9. It' s to o hot
8. The re was a hurric ane somewhere
7. The re is a war somew here
6. Ja mie Dimon said that the banks would be in trouble
5. The jobs num ber was weaker than expected
4. There is a drought in California
3. Ret ail sales are less than expected as the 1% have bought eve rything they could possibly want
2. Ru pert Murdoch, warre n buffon or Roger Ayles got mad
And of course the NU MBER 1 reason for DEF NOT TO TAPER....
The stock market is not going up 100 points every day or actually lost 10 points one day !!l
ONCE YOU GO DOWN THIS PATH THERE IS NO STOPPING IT !
THERE IS ALWAYS A REASON TO KEEP PRINTING MONEY FOR YOUR FRIENDS !
REMEMBER ME WHEN YOU HEAR THEY ARE DELAYING THE TAPER !
PS: For those who say they are ONLY PRINTING 65 BILLION PER MONTH NOW:
Do you realize how much 65 bill per month is? Do you think Amazon in last **3* months sold more than 65 BILLION including Christmas ? In **3** MONTHS Amazon sold worldwide 19 billion what the fed is currently printing every **10** DAYS think about that!
Physical gold and silver is best not the black hole etfs I also like Hecla mining it is leveraged to the price of gold mines only in us and canada produced 26% of all silver in US last year, a lot of short sellers, insider buying, bought gold mine in quebec and pays divident that rises automatically whenever silver rises all of hecla shares could be bought for 1.2 bill what the fed is printing every 10 hours !