Billions in compensation from nuclear power plant operators overcome the hurdle | Free press


The last German nuclear power plant will go offline at the end of 2022. Nuclear energy companies receive a lot of tax money to switch off earlier. Now the ordinance has passed through the Bundestag.

Berlin (dpa) – Compensation payments to nuclear power plant operators have overcome the following hurdle. The federal cabinet has passed a bill to amend the Atomic Energy Act, which regulates financial compensation for the energy companies affected by the nuclear phase-out in 2011.

At the beginning of March, after years of legal dispute with the groups RWE, Vattenfall, Eon / PreussenElektra and EnBW, the federal government agreed to a compensation of 2.4 billion euros. The amount is intended to compensate for the damage suffered by the operators of nuclear power plants as a result of the early phasing out of nuclear energy and the extension of the life of the nuclear power plants, decided in 2010.

As the Federal Department of the Environment announced, the now-approved draft amendment to the nuclear energy law regulates operators’ financial compensation for unusable amounts of electricity and free investment.

In addition, the cabinet has agreed that the three responsible Ministries of Environment, Economy and Finance, on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany, will conclude an associated public law contract with the operating companies to regulate the remuneration in detail. “It is good that we are finally drawing a line under the protracted legal disputes. This is done at a price that is far below the original expectations of the energy suppliers, ”said Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze (SPD) Wednesday.

The bill and public law contract implement the decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court of December 6, 2016 and September 29, 2020. The judges in Karlsruhe repeatedly had the right of the operating companies to compensation for the accelerated nuclear phase-out. confirmed after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in the year 2011. In early March, the federal government reached an agreement with the four energy companies on a settlement of all legal disputes related to the nuclear phase-out. For a long time there was disagreement between the parties about how and to what extent the compensation should be paid.

The law is now being discussed by the Bundestag and the Bundesrat. It will enter into force together with the public law contract on October 31, 2021.

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