Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nuclear phase-out: What is the meaning of the judgment by the constitutional court – THE WORLD

KKarlsruhe had hardly spoken since the conservation of the stock shot courses of the German nuclear corporations are already through the roof. Before anyone was able to read only the operative part of the judgment from the page-long statement of the Federal constitutional court, were the securities of E. on and RWE in the forefront already by seven per cent in the Plus at the top of the German stock index.

Apparently, had realized the Algorithms in the computerized stock market trading only the word “compensation” in the judgment, and immediately a massive stock purchases triggered. After all, the claim of 19 billion euros was in the room. This total request, according to unconfirmed rumors, the four large energy corporations of the Federal government, because this had been decided after the Fukushima incident of 2011, the accelerated nuclear phase-out.

But the height of flight on the stock exchange could soon be followed by the bitter disappointment. In the meantime, is also anecdotal evidence that the compensation payment in the best case, could be in the low single-digit billion range. Because, in a sense, in the small print of the ruling, the judges make it clear that the nuclear industry can, apparently, only to a very limited extent a claim for damages. And if the money is flowing really, depends on political uncertainties. Four reasons why the largest part of the hoped-for billions of blessing for the energy companies at the end is likely to fail.

1. NUCLEAR power plant decommissioning was referred to no expropriation

The Federal constitutional court has exit to the accelerated nuclear after the Fukushima disaster, in principle, as according to the Constitution. While eight nuclear power were paid directly at a standstill and production quantities for a limited time. However, unlike the energy companies claimed that this was no “expropriation”, the judges in Karlsruhe is clear: Legally, is an expropriation only if the state appropriates something physically. That is not the case: The state has deleted only the production licenses. The Federal government had only specified “barriers” of the property and was allowed to this as well, because nuclear power have a strong “social relation”.

With this interpretation is for the Federal government, the “worst-case” from the table: The court would have to consider the law on the nuclear phase-out a total of as unconstitutional. Then the exit law would have been by 2011, a total void and complete need to be re-written. The energy companies have had in this case, a much larger basis for a claim.

2. Just a little “frustrated”investments

The judge acknowledged, however, that the atomic energy political Back-and-Forth of the Federal government for damage. Thus, the Cabinet of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) had decided at the end of 2010, a lifetime extension for nuclear power plants by an average of at least twelve years. Four months later, the decision was overturned because of the Fukushima disaster, and in the opposite of an accelerated nuclear phase-out applied.

The judge to confess to the Federal government, to change their opinion within such a short period of time so fundamental. Not had changed as a result of Fukushima, the actual safety of the German nuclear power plants. However, to justify such a policy change, even if “only the Public awareness of these risks does not change, although new risks are identified.”

it must, However, pay the Federal government for the consequences of their opinion change. In clear text: The government must submit a report to the energy companies, those investments they had made in reliance on the promised extension of the term. This, however, refers only to an extremely short period of time: The lifetime extension for nuclear power plants was on 8. December 2010, the Bundestag has been decided.

The nuclear moratorium, made it back, followed on the 16. March 2011. So the energy companies can make only those “frustrated investments” that were made in these three and a half months: Probably a quite manageable amount. E. on itself speaks to the trust on the extension of the term “hundreds of millions of euros” invest – of the alleged multi-digit billion sums of money away is a good piece.

3. Residual amounts of electricity to value

lost A compensation to the energy companies after the Karlsruhe judgment for another reason. So, the Federal government had assigned in the first nuclear agreement of 2002 exit of the corporations “residual power quantities”, they were able to produce in their silos. In this case, these quotas could be transferred flexibly from older to younger nuclear power plants.

After Fukushima changed this model, however, a crucial point: The residual current quotas continued, but suddenly eight nuclear power stations were closed down immediately, the remaining nine fixed switch-off data is set. RWE and Vattenfall had no ability to produce the once by the Federal government securitised residual amounts of electricity. For this, the quantities of electricity, the Supreme judges decided now, must compensate the Federal government in any Form.

RWE had remained on the larger residual electricity Quantities of the reactors in Mühlheim-Kärlich and Biblis sit. Vattenfall could not use production licenses for approximately 100 terawatt hours of electricity of power plants Krümmel and Brunsbüttel. The only question is, what is the value one attaches to it: The output value in the Fukushima-2011 stood at € 60 per megawatt hour.

Today, however, the power is less than half the value – and the Federal government can take into account this fall in the price of your compensation scheme “reasonable”. In the end, only a low single-digit billion amount would remain for Vattenfall and RWE on the other hand. Because E. on is involved in the Vattenfall reactors of Krümmel and Brunsbüttel, could have a claim on the group is a part of the compensation due.

4. Exit financing and politically negotiable

to restore The constitutional judges have not ordered the Federal government to provide direct compensation, but the nuclear phase-out a “constitutional state”. For this, she has until mid-2018. The Form In which the Federal government is making this request is still open. A future “compensation law” is not to the satisfaction of the energy companies is estimated to be, it could usher in the next process round, with once again the year-long uncertainty.

could Eventually incorporate the Supreme court ruling now in the political negotiations on the financing of the nuclear energy phase-out. The Federal government had decided to do this recently, a law, according to which the Federal government ensures the provision of End and Interim storage for nuclear waste, the nuclear power companies for the demolition of the reactors.

However, to pay the energy companies the bulk of their provisions for the End and intermediate storage in a public – law Fund. The amount of this Deposit could be based on the ruling, now the subject of a debate.

Because the Federal government had given the energy companies, in addition to the provisions of a relatively arbitrary, the seized amount of six billion euros as a “risk buffer” in the Repository-Fund. The energy companies could now offer to let your newly acquired claims for damages against the Federal government to fall, if you discount to get this price in the risk buffer.

If the consensus for the exit financing is constricted in this way, is uncertain. On the side of the government parties, the mood seems to be not very pronounced. “The current legislation should be procedures for the destruction and Dismantling of judgment not affected,” advises about Thomas Bareiß, energy Commissioner of the CDU/CSU group in the Bundestag.

Because he also believes that compensation to be paid to it in the sequence now will go to justify no too much effort: “I warn against exaggerated debate,” said Bareiß: “I am convinced that the sums in question, will be much smaller than some of the prophets now predict.”


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