Nuclear exit compensation for utilities / Energy spin-offs enter MDAX
Federal Constitutional Court / Reuters / FAZ
Nuclear plant operators affected by Germany’s accelerated nuclear exit after the 2011 Fukushima disaster are eligible for an “adequate” compensation, the Federal Constitutional Court has ruled. The court explained in a press release that the legal procedure for speeding up the end of nuclear power production was essentially constitutional, but the lack of compensation for the utilities’ investments made in “good faith” in 2010 - when an extended service life for the plants was agreed - violated property rights. The court’s ruling will pave the way for subsequent damage claims and boost the companies’ shares, according to news agency Reuters. The utilities E.ON, RWE and Vattenfall sued the German government over the decision to accelerate the country’s nuclear exit, arguing it equalled expropriation. According to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), their compensation claims amount to about 19 billion euros, which the companies will have to seek in separate lawsuits at civil courts.
Read more on Germany’s decision to exit nuclear power in the CLEW dossier The challenges of Germany’s nuclear phase-out.
Uniper / Innogy
Uniper and innogy, the subsidiaries of German utilities E.ON and RWE respectively, will be included in the MDAX, Germany’s second most important stock index, the two companies said in separate press releases. The utilities’ spin-offs will enter the index comprising the 50 largest and most traded German stocks after the front-ranking DAX 30 on 19 December, about three months after Uniper’s and two months after innogy’s stock market debut. E.ON has channelled its conventional energy business into its subsidiary Uniper and embarked on becoming a green energy provider, while RWE has chosen a different strategy by shifting its renewable energy business into the subsidiary innogy.
Read more on the role of energy providers in the Energiewende in the CLEW dossier Utilities and the energy transition.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
German utility EnBW starts construction of its first off-shore wind farm in the North Sea ten years after receiving permission, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) reports. The largely state-owned utility will cooperate with Canadian pipeline company Enbridge in the 1.5 billion euro project, according to the newspaper. Enbridge will reportedly acquire almost half of the wind farm’s shares before construction begins. The 71 windmills in the wind farm, called “Hohe See” (High Sea), will have a capacity of about 500 megawatt and provide enough electricity for 560,000 average German households, FAZ reports. In order to benefit from guaranteed feed-in tariffs, the wind farm will have to be operational by the end of 2019, according to FAZ.
The buyer’s premium for alternative car engines introduced by the German government last May has largely failed its objective of boosting the sale of e-cars, writes Dana Heide in Handelsblatt. Economy minister Sigmar Gabriel expected the one-billion-euro support programme to push the number of vehicles with alternative engines to “above 500,000”, but there had only been about 7,370 requests for e-cars, hybrid cars and fuel cell cars combined until the beginning of December, according to Heide. Under the buyer’s premium scheme, buyers of e-cars receive a reduction of 4,000 euros on the car’s price, while buyers of hybrid cars get a 3,000 euro deduction. Critics of the premium, such as the Green party, have argued that the subsidy will primarily benefit wealthier customers of e-cars which often sell at prices well above 30,000 euros, Heide writes.
See the CLEW dossiers on The energy transition and Germany’s transport sector and carmarkers’ challenges for more information on efforts to ramp up electrified mobility.