German cabinet to compensate Utilities affected by nuclear phaseout

Published: 31 May 2018 By Grace Kimberley

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Following Germany’s recent energy transition and decision to cease all nuclear projects, the German cabinet has now agreed to compensate up to 1bn Euros to utility companies affected by the Energiewende (energy transition).

Chancellor Angela Merkel introduced Energiewende in response to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster which occurred in Japan in 2011.

The transition was particularly significant for Germany as, at the time, the country was generating approximately a quarter of its electricity from nuclear power. The introduction of Energiewende meant that 17 EnBW, EOn, RWE and Vattenfall reactors must be decommissioned.

After a draft law meeting in Berlin yesterday, it was established that the 2011 order to decommission all of Germany’s nuclear power plants by 2022 was not compliant with property rights.

This new revelation has encouraged the German cabinet to offer compensation of losses to RWE and Vattenfall, but an exact figure won’t be announced until 2023.

The companies affected by Energiewende have been fighting for compensation since the execution of the order.

Vattenfall argued: “When Germany decides to reorient its energy policy, foreign investors should not have to pay the price for such a decision and its immediate consequences.”

Environment ministry spokesman Stephan Gabriel Haufe says the new law should show the cabinet are addressing most of the remaining “uncertainties”.

“The main message is that we have a court ruling that found that this energy exit is constitutional.” Said Haufe.

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