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Germany’s Largest Utility Revolts Against Renewable Energy, Threatens To Relocate In Turkey

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William Pentland, Forbes

The politics of electric power are getting nasty in Germany. E.ON , Germany’s largest gas, electric and water utilities, has threatened to relocate to Turkey if the continues to prevent the profitability of its nuclear and fossil-fired power plants, according to AFP reports.

In the wake of the Fukushima crisis, Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to phase-out nuclear power in Germany by the end of the decade and fill the resulting gap in power supply by generating up to 80% of the nation’s electricity from renewable energy by 2050.

Under current regulations, electricity generated by renewable energy resources are given priority access to the grid. As a result, electricity generated by coal and gas-fired plants is only used “to make up for any shortfalls,” according to the AFP.

Many power plants in E.ON’s fleet are thus operating at a loss, which has taken a steep financial toll.

In the second quarter, E.ON saw its net profit plunge by 22% as the result of weak demand and strong subsidies for renewable energy.

Meanwhile, RWE, Germany’s second-largest utility, said last week that it would shut down six power plants, which collectively represent about 4,300 megawatts of capacity, in Germany and the Netherlands.

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