November 15, 2012 / 1:30 PM / 5 years ago

German green power capacity to rise 38 pct to 2017

* Installations set to rise to move to low-carbon energy

* Green power output could nearly double between 2011 and 2017

* Local utilities call for better market integration

FRANKFURT, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Germany’s capacity to generate power from renewable energy sources should rise to 111 gigawatts (GW) in 2017, a 38 percent increase over estimated 2013 levels, Germany’s transmission firms said on Thursday.

The data came as part of reporting obligations by the four leading high voltage network operators (TSOs), which serve to gauge supply security and related costs in a subsidised sector increasingly imposing run-away costs on consumers.

The estimates showed that out of the 2017 capacity total, wind power onshore and offshore would total 47 GW, solar power capacity 55 GW and the rest would be contributed by others such as hydro power, biomass and geothermal energy.

This total 2017 capacity could likely generate 203 terawatt hours of power in that year, 51 percent more than the 134 TWh forecast for 2013 and nearly double the amount recorded in 2011, the firms said in a statement.

The four high voltage grid operators include EnBW’s TransnetBW as well as 50Hertz, the former unit of Vattenfall Europe, TenneT, formerly belonging to E.ON and Amprion, which used to be owned by RWE.

They commissioned independent experts to consider installation forecasts and to extrapolate production volumes and payments from the outcomes in recent years.

The government’s decision to switch off nuclear power faster than planned in the wake of Japan’s Fukushima disaster in 2011 has led to a growing need for alternative energy, which translates into rising charges for users.

Under German law, green power must be fed into the electricity grid and accrue above-market rates in a system partly administered by the TSOs.

The data showed that a third of the total power produced would still receive subsidies under Germany’s feed-in tariff laws in 2017, although a decrease in that number is intended as market prices are meant to replace funding.

By 2017 taxpayers are expected to cough up 13.3 billion euros ($16.93 billion) of fixed tariffs paid directly to renewables operators, plus 12.6 billion paid indirectly as a reward for those marketing their green power themselves.

Local utility association VKU said the direct payments prevented green power from being integrated into the marketplace.

“This is why we urgently need renewable energy to take responsibility (for) security,” said VKU’s managing director, Hans-Joachim Reck, in a comment.

Subsidies levied on German consumers to support green power will rise 47 percent next year to 5.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), TSOs said in October.

The surcharge for 2014 will likely remain stable in a range between 4.89 cents and 5.74 cents/kWh, documents from the TSOs had shown on Wednesday. ($1 = 0.7856 euros) (Reporting by Vera Eckert; editing by Keiron Henderson)

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