Germany set to overhaul renewable energy subsidies

BERLIN -- Germany's environment minister says the country must overhaul the tax financing expansion of renewable energies to keep costs in check and ensure a smooth phasing out of nuclear power by 2022.

Peter Altmaier presented a roadmap Thursday to reform the system of subsidies and investment incentives for expansion of wind, solar and biomass power that already produce a quarter of Germany's electricity.

Subsidies are financed through a tax on electricity prices paid by all households. Analysts say the recent expansion of renewable energies will require a tax hike of up to 50 percent starting next year.

Altmaier says the system must be overhauled if Germany is to reach its goal of using renewable sources to generate 40 percent of its electricity within a decade and 80 percent by 2050.