Sweden’s Vattenfall wins nuclear phaseout case against Germany

16 November 2020

Germany’s constitutional court in Karlsruhe has demanded a revision of a 2018 draft law, which sets out nuclear operators’ rights to compensation for lost investment and remaining production quotas as a result of Germany’s nuclear phase out policy.

Germany must  rework its system of financial compensation for energy firms hit by the nuclear phase out, the court said.

Germany decided to decommission a number of nuclear power plants immediately after the March 2011 Fukushima disaster with the remainder plants scheduled to close by 2022. Vattenfall successfully argued that this breached production rights at its Brunsbüttel, Krümmel and Mülheim-Kärlich nuclear power plants.

Environment minister Svenja Schulze said: “We will analyse the verdict thoroughly and quickly get a regulation in motion that satisfies the court’s requirements.”

In a written decision, the court said the 2018 plan did not meet guidelines it had laid out in 2016, when it said the closure of nuclear plants might violate some property rights.

Vattenfall had argued it was unable to use several years’ worth of previously agreed production quotas. Other utilities — RWE, EnBW and E.ON — were able to operate some of their plants longer, allowing them to use up remaining quotas.

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