RWE welcomes political decision on nuclear energy policy

Top Quote The RWE Executive Board and the Group’s employees welcome the fact that the German government has agreed on the fundamentals for extending the operating life of nuclear power stations. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) September 08, 2010 - Nuclear energy will now continue to play a role in Germany’s energy mix. In addition, hand in hand with renewables, nuclear energy will help achieve the country’s ambitious climate protection targets.

    Dr. Jürgen Großmann, CEO of RWE, said: “This basic agreement makes nuclear energy a strong pillar of the bridge which will carry us over into the renewables era. Both today and going forward, our customers appreciate the security of supply nuclear energy offers, as well as the effect it has on stabilising prices. For us as operators, considerable and unexpectedly high financial burdens are to be expected.”

    The German government has stipulated that the RWE nuclear power stations in Gundremmingen (2,600 MW capacity; 75 % RWE Power AG; 25 % E.on Kernkraft GmbH) and Lingen Ems (1,400 MW capacity; 87.5 % RWE Power AG; 12.5 % E.on Kernkraft GmbH) are to remain in operation for 14 years longer than set down in the current Atomic Energy Act. The operating life of the two Biblis units (2,400 MW) will be prolonged by eight years. However, the burdens resulting from the nuclear fuel tax, payments into a special fund, as well as additional retrofitting requirements will be considerable. They pose a huge challenge to the competitive operation of nuclear power stations in the future.

    The industry accepts the operating life extension stipulated by policymakers and differentiated according to power stations. RWE has repeatedly made clear that nuclear energy would best have been able to fulfil its function of bridging the gap to renewables if operating life had been extended by at least around 20 years. The energy analysis commissioned by the German government on the various energy scenarios had also come to this conclusion. In terms of safety, it was found that, in view of the internationally high safety levels at German nuclear power stations, all stations could continue to operate beyond the stipulated deadline.

    The German government has thus again increased the contribution made by nuclear energy to its budget, originally limited to a period of four years. Operators of nuclear power stations will now have to carry the burden of an additional annual nuclear fuel tax of €2.3 billion for a period of six years. Additionally, a fund for the development of renewables will be endowed with €1.4 billion. From 2017 onwards, a fee per megawatt hour of power generated by nuclear power stations will have to be paid into this fund, while at the same time the operating life of power stations will be reduced according to plan. In total, this will skim off far more than 50% of potential earnings from nuclear energy.

    RWE invests €1.4 billion annually in the development of renewables. Through an extended use of nuclear power, the transition process to lower CO2 emissions in the future of energy can be accelerated and made more consumer-friendly. German nuclear power stations avoid CO2 emissions of approximately 125m tons per year.

  • FB Icon Twitter Icon In-Icon
Contact Information