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German government to compensate utilities over the phaseout of nuclear power

Germany To Compensate RWE & Vattenfall Over Nuclear Phase-Out, Clean Technica, 25 May 18      The German Government has passed a bill that gives the country the legal right to proceed with its phase-out of nuclear power but will open the door to companies like Vattenfall and RWE to receive compensation for their investment into nuclear power plants.

Following the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, Germany made the unprecedented decision to close down all its nuclear power plants — the oldest eight power plants were closed immediately, while the remaining nine are scheduled to be turned off by 2022.

“A decision has been taken to shut down eight plants before the end of this year and they definitely won’t be reactivated. And the remaining nine will be shut down by the end of the decade,” Juergen Becker, deputy environment minister at the time, told Reuters. “Japan has shown that even if there is a minuscule occurrence, the residual risk is too high to justify the continuation of nuclear power (…) It is better to go for other energy services in a civilized country.”

In response, German utility RWE and Swedish power company Vattenfall sued the German government, arguing that they were due financial compensation for investing in a technology that, at the time, the German government was supporting, and that in suddenly reversing direction, the companies would suffer significant financial losses.

In December of 2016, the German Federal Constitutional Court confirmed that the government’s decision to phase-out nuclear power was “essentially constitutional.” This week, the German Federal Government approved a bill which implemented the findings of the Court, giving the country the right to proceed with its phase-out but also allowing utilities to seek “adequate financial compensation for so-called frustrated investments they made in nuclear power plants between 28 October 2010 and 16 March 2011.”

“The bill passed today ensures that the accelerated phasing out of nuclear power plants, which was initiated in 2011, will be continued consistently and in accordance with the provisions of the Basic Law,” said Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze. “Each nuclear power plant will retain its current statutory cut-off date by 31 December 2022 at the latest of nuclear energy in Germany.” …….. https://cleantechnica.com/2018/05/25/germany-to-compensate-rwe-vattenfall-over-nuclear-phase-out/

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May 25, 2018 - Posted by | Germany, politics

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