News Summary: Merkel defends switch from nuclear

NO NUKES: German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her government's decision to phase out nuclear power and switch to renewable energies within a decade, but acknowledged the need to speed up the plan.

BAD BUSINESS? Business leaders have criticized the way the switchover has been managed, saying the costs are spiraling and hurting some companies.

FOOTING THE BILL: The country's grid operators said a surcharge on households' electricity prices to finance the expansion of renewable energy will increase by 47 percent on the year. A typical family will have to pay about (EURO)250 ($324) per year on top of their bill.