Electricity producers in Germany are in disarray. The cause of the chaos is the government: in June it decided to shut all the country’s nuclear power stations by 2022, after Japan’s struggles to contain radiation leaks from its reactors following an earthquake and tsunami in March.Told 'ya.
A study commissioned by the economics ministry has estimated the cost of that decision, in lost jobs and higher energy and carbon prices, at around €32 billion ($46 billion). The government had planned to extend the life of nuclear plants by an average of 12 years.
Other things make matters worse. Germany’s four big electricity generators have too much debt. They are also being forced by the European Commission to spin off their distribution arms to improve competition. The firms are trying to adjust, shrink and extricate themselves from unprofitable foreign ventures and to co-operate more with municipal power-producers. E.ON, Germany’s biggest power company, is threatening to lay off up to 11,000 people.
Friday, August 26, 2011
German Power (Not)
From the Economist: