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Germany

Local utilities want compensation after German nuclear power deal

Municipal electric utility companies have asked for financial compensation to offset losses they say they will incur from a decision to extend the lifespan of Germany's nuclear power plants.

High voltage transmission lines

Utilities want to be reimbursed for potential losses

Local electricity suppliers and wind energy operators in Germany want money from the government because they fear their investments in environmentally-friendly energy technologies are threatened by Berlin's decision on Sunday to keep the country's 17 nuclear power plants running longer than planned.

Municipal utilities have said the longer lifespans for nuclear power plants could cost them billions of euros.

Offshore windmills in the North Sea

Nuke deal threatens alternative energies, local utilities say

'A nail in the coffin for renewable energy'

Albert Filbert, head of the city of Darmstadt's HSE energy utility, told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper that the capacity utilization of his power plants would drop significantly because of the government's nuclear deal. Filbert said that the average 12-year lifespan extension would cost municipal electricity suppliers 4.5 billion euros.

Frankfurt Mayor Petra Roth, who heads the German Municipalities Association, said that cities and their utility companies had invested heavily in environmentally-friendly energy generation.

"Longer lifespans without compensation only improves the competitive position of the large energy suppliers," Roth said.

Roth added that the government's planned nuclear fuel rod tax, which Berlin says will bring in an extra 2.3 billion euros ($2.96 billion) from nuclear plant operators, would cost municipalities an estimated 300 million euros annually in lost business taxes.

Hermann Albers, president of Germany's National Wind Energy Association, called the nuclear power deal the "final nail in the coffin for renewable energies and wind power."

Author: Gregg Benzow (dpa/AFP)
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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