Germany's exit from nuclear power could cost the country as much as 1.7 trillion euros ($2.15 trillion) by 2030, or two thirds of the country's GDP in 2011, according to Siemens (
"This will either be paid by energy customers or taxpayers," Siemens board member Michael Suess, in charge of the company's Energy Sector, told Reuters in an interview at the annual Handelsblatt Energiewirtschaft conference.
The estimate of 1.7 trillion euros assumes strong expansion of renewables, with feed-in tariffs as the biggest chunk of costs. The cost would be lower -- at about 1.4 billion euros -- if gas was one of the major energy alternatives, Suess said.
The estimates given by Siemens factor in feed-in tariffs -- costs that utilities have to pay to generators of renewable energy -- investments into power transmission and distribution, operations and maintenance as well as technologies to store renewable energy and carbon dioxide.