Germany’s phase-out of nuclear power could cost the country $2.15 trillion according to an executive at Siemens.

Michael Suess said the price tag was worked out on the assumption that Germany would expand its share of renewables to fill the nuclear gap in its energy mix.

He said that if gas was the major replacement instead, the cost to energy customers or taxpayers would be significantly lower, at around $1.4bn.

Suess, head of energy at Siemens, told Reuters: “As an industry, Germany has always reached its goals. Now the whole world is looking at us. If the energy shift should fail … it would undermine Germany’s credibility as an industry nation.”

Germany’s withdrawal from nuclear followed the disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan last year. Siemens, which built all of Germany’s 17 nuclear plants, followed the government’s line and announced that it would no longer build nuclear projects, although it remains at the forefront of the steam turbine business for nuclear plants.