Germany has decided to compensate two major utility companies for the government-forced shutdown of their nuclear power plants, shutdowns caused by government diktat, not by any plant failure or unsafe performance.
Sometime in the future, that is, in an amount to be determined.
The precise compensation sums depended on the development of electricity prices in Germany, the government said, adding that a concrete figure could only be calculated in 2023.
Those electricity prices already is rising rapidly from the loss of cheap, reliable electricity sources—coal-fired plants are being forced to close, too, in favor of wind- and solar-generated electricity.
The cabinet’s decision Wednesday was in line with a 2016 ruling by the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, which said that the utilities in question were entitled to compensation for investments rendered useless by the government’s drastic change in energy policies.
Who, though, will compensate the German people for the much higher costs they’ll have to absorb for electricity for their homes and businesses? Those higher costs will come from unreliable wind-sourced energy as winds often exceed the limits of the windmills used to generate electricity—or winds that don’t blow sufficiently. Those higher costs will come, also, from solar energy produced in cloudy Germany. Those higher costs will come, also, from energy storage facilities that don’t exist yet, even in a demonstrable design stage, but are necessary to span those periods of no energy production.