German utilities win nuclear case

12 December 2016

Germany’s energy utilities will be able to claim compensation from the government resulting from its 2011 decision to close the country’s nuclear power plants.

A federal court has ruled that the 2011 law bringing an end to nuclear power production failed to consider the issue of compensation for energy companies that were committed to operating nuclear power plants.

The decision has been hailed as a major victory for E.On, RWE, Vattenfall and EnBW. The court has ordered the government to regulate the issue by mid-2018.

E.On welcomed the court’s decision. It said it had invested hundred of millions of euros to extend the service life of its nuclear power plants based on the German government’s earlier plan to use nuclear energy as a low carbon ‘bridging technology’.

“The court thus acknowledges above all the importance of trust when it comes to investments made on the basis of political decision,” E.On said in a statement.

The energy firm said it was prepared to enter talks with the government over the implementation of the ruling. It expects the talks to “take some time” and does not expect any payments to be made “anytime soon”.


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