Germany’s environmental train wreck

The losses are just beginning. Who pays? Do the German voters know that the supposedly green nation’s carbon intensity has already gotten worse: from 0.39 metric tonnes per MWh to 0.41 tones? Do the voters know what the Green Party is costing their economy while at least a dozen new large scale coal plants are being constructed?

More to follow on this WNN report.

EOn’s annual report has made clear some of the impacts, financial and environmental, of Germany’s reaction to the Fukushima accident.

The utility recorded a €1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) one-off cost for the overnight closure of its Unterweser, Isar 1, Krummel, and Brunsbuttel nuclear power reactors, which also directly resulted in it producing almost 12 billion kWh less than in 2010. Adding in the total costs of the ongoing nuclear fuel tax as well as accelerated decommissioning plans for the shuttered units, the total financial impact has been €2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) over the last 12 months.

Explaining that a range of economic factors have dampened demand, and that gas and power markets are oversupplied, EOn’s entire operation produced 31.7 billion kWh less and saw a 44% drop in earnings from power generation. This contributed to a 30% earnings drop overall. However, said EOn, it is “past the worst,” in a mission to restructure itself into “EOn 2.0”. The company turned its attention to the challenges of a “new operating environment” in August 2011, announcing the likely loss of 9000-11,000 jobs.

“EOn is implementing the political majority’s decision on an earlier phaseout of nuclear energy.

At the same time, however, EOn believes that the nuclear phaseout, under the current legislation, is irreconcilable with our constitutional right to property and our constitutional freedom to operate a business.

In any case, such an intervention is unconstitutional unless compensation is granted for the rights so deprived. Consequently we expect appropriate compensation for the billions of euros in stranded assets created by this decision.”

(…) EOn noted a setback in achieving its target to reduce specific emissions from power generation to half of 1990 baseline levels by 2020. Instead of decreasing during 2011, “Carbon intensity [of EOn generation] in Europe rose from 0.39 metric tonnes per MWh to 0.41 tones.”


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