Cost to Germans of subsidizing renewable energy to sink for the 1st time, but only slightly

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BERLIN — The cost to Germans of subsidizing renewable energy is set to decline next year for the first time, though the impact on their electricity bills will be only slight.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's government has made a priority of stemming the costs of Germany's transition to renewable energy and improving its coordination. The country plans to switch off its remaining nuclear reactors by 2022.

Generators of solar, wind and other renewable energies are guaranteed fixed income and consumers pay a subsidy to make up the difference between that and market prices, which have fallen.

The subsidy has mushroomed since it was first paid in 2003 but network operators said Wednesday the subsidy will decline next year to 6.17 euro cents (7.83 U.S. cents) per kilowatt hour from 6.24 cents.

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