Compensation for the phaseout of nuclear power

Energy shift Compensation for the phaseout of nuclear power

Energy utilities are to receive financial compensation of around 2.428 billion euros for residual electricity volumes that they can no longer generate and their investments that were affected, the Cabinet has decided. This marks the end of years of litigation following a decision to accelerate the phasing out of nuclear power in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster.

Phasing out the use of nuclear power

The German government has agreed on compensation payments to energy utilities for residual electricity volumes that can no longer be generated as a result of the phaseout of nuclear power.

Photo: Getty Images/Cultura RF

On Wednesday the Cabinet agreed on financial compensation for energy companies for residual electricity volumes that can no longer be generated as a result of the phasing out of nuclear power. In return the energy companies will undertake to end all ongoing administrative and legal proceedings relating to the phaseout of nuclear power. They will also agree not to take any further legal action. 

Final and consensual agreement

The German government and the energy utilities had already reached a final, consensual agreement. The Cabinet took note of the relevant agreement drafted under public law. The bill now adopted for the 18th amendment to the Atomic Energy Act (Atomgesetz) will give the government the authority it needs to sign the agreement. This will translate into practice the ruling of the Federal Constitutional Court of 6 December 2016 regarding the 13th amendment to the Atomic Energy Act, taking account of its ruling of 29 September 2020 regarding the 16th amendment to the Atomic Energy Act. In the decision, the Federal Constitutional Court declared the phaseout of nuclear power to be permissible, but ruled that the energy utilities were entitled to appropriate compensation. 

The two chambers of the German parliament, the Bundestag and the Bundesrat, will now consider the bill. The amended Act is expected to come into effect at the end of October this year, so that the directives of the Federal Constitutional Court can be implemented before the end of this legislative period. The agreement under public law will come into effect with the amended Atomic Energy Act. 

No extension of running times for nuclear power stations

The government is not considering any extension of the running times of remaining nuclear power stations – not even in view of climate considerations. The commercial use of nuclear power in Germany will end, as planned, no later than the end of 2022.

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