E.ON GA and RWE AG are threatening to sue the government over their decision to shutdown the nuclear reactors by 2022. A third reactor operator, southern Germany's EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG is reviewing its tax exposure before making any decisions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel must still win parliamentary backing to shut down the reactor.
E.ON is calculating the revenues it will lose by running its reactors for fewer years than planned and its exposure to new taxes on nuclear fuel rods. The company expects the billions of euros in necessary compensation for the financial losses associated with this decision.
But the fuel-rod tax remains in place, to utilities' annoyance: The government had already earmarked the revenues to help it curtail its budget deficit. Berlin aims to raise some €2.3 billion ($3.3 billion) a year from the tax.
The government cannot build enough wind turbines and solar installations or import enough natural gas or electricity to meet Germany's target of cutting greenhouse-gas emissions to 20% of their 1990 level by 2050. This political mess will ruin Germany's energy sector if it is allowed to continue. (WSJ, 6/1/2011)