Thursday, November 12, 2020

Nuclear phase-out: Germany's constitutional court reprimands Parliament for poor compensation regulation

   The hasty decision of nuclear phase-out after the Fukushima nuclear incident reguires a financial compensation for the plant operators. However the bills passed so far are so poorly drafted that they could not become effective. The german constitutional court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) severely blamed lawmakers for their faulty work, writes german newspaper WELT:

The financial compensation for certain power plant operators due to the accelerated nuclear phase-out after the reactor disaster in Fukushima has to be completely reorganized again. The 2018 amendment to the law was inadequate and also never came into force due to formal deficiencies, the Federal Constitutional Court decided after a lawsuit by the energy company Vattenfall. The legislature is “still obliged to implement new regulations as soon as possible”, as the highest German court in Karlsruhe announced on Thursday. (Az. 1 BvR 1550/19)

Because of the reactor accident in Fukushima, Japan, the federal government withdrew an extension of the service life of the 17 German nuclear power plants that had been decided just a few months earlier. By the end of 2022 at the latest, all reactors must be taken off the grid on fixed dates. Then the end of nuclear power.

In 2016, following lawsuits from Eon, RWE and Vattenfall, the Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the amendment to the law that sealed this turnaround was essentially compatible with the Basic Law. The energy companies are entitled to adequate compensation for investments that have become pointless and forfeited production rights.

Vattenfall, among others, benefits from this. Due to the fixed shutdown dates set in 2011, the Swedish group no longer had the opportunity to internally produce electricity volumes originally allocated to its two German power plants, Krümmel and Brunsbüttel. For this, the group should be able to demand a compensation payment in the millions in 2023. According to the Federal Environment Ministry, the exact amount will only then be able to be determined.

However, the legal regulations for this are in parts "unreasonable", as stated in the Karlsruhe decision. In addition, the entry into force was made dependent on the approval of the EU Commission. However, this was never formally issued.

Because of the nuclear phase-out, Vattenfall is also pending a lawsuit at the World Bank's International Court of Arbitration (ICSID) in Washington. This involves claims of several billion euros due to the permanent shutdown of Krümmel and Brunsbüttel.

No comments:

Post a Comment