Utilities Fight for Bailout, Fear Meltdown

Power plant sunset imao
The sun is setting on the era of traditional power production. No-one yet knows how the clean energy phase will look, or what it will cost.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Big utilities says can’t pay for the nuclear phase-out without more government help. If it doesn’t, the companies might go under — and that would be even more expensive.

  • Facts


    • In addition to getting out of nuclear power by 2022, Germany plans to draw at least 80 percent of energy from renewables by 2050.
    • In the end, the bill for Germany’s nuclear phase-out could be as much as €70 billion — and it would fall on many shoulders.
    • Consultants calculate that since the government embarked on its energy transition in 2011, the four big energy providers in Germany have had to write down €18.6 billion on the value of their traditional power plants for “unplanned depreciation.”
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The view from the window of Garrelt Duin’s office — the economics minister for North Rhine-Westphalia — takes in coal and gas-fired power plants, factories and smokestacks.

Mr. Duin works in the state at the heart of the country’s energy industry that is marked by the brand new gas-fired power plants, spinning wind-power turbines and slagheaps that scar the landscape.

Viewed from Mr. Duin’s office above, the nation’s transition to renewable energies is complicated and messy.

Companies are scrambling to adapt or be destroyed as Germany rushes to switch to clean energy in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Germany plans to draw at least 80 percent of energy from renewables by 2050.

The subsidies for renewables have already caused huge losses for Germany’s utilities and they are hastily adjusting their structures.

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