ANALYSIS: Germany's fossil conundrum

A coal-fired power plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany

A coal-fired power plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany

With all his energy focused on a heated debate about rising costs to finance renewable power, environment minister Peter Altmaier is failing to tackle another critical issue.

It is one that could derail Germany’s energy transition away from nuclear power – gas being pushed out of the market.

Germany’s big power utilities E.ON, RWE and EnBW in recent weeks have all said they are reviewing their fossil power plants.

Faced with falling profits, E.ON may mothball up to 11GW in conventional generating capacity across Europe by 2015, much of that in Germany, E.ON CEO Johannes Teyssen said in late January.

Germany’s complex electricity pricing system is part of the problem. Renewable power enters the electricity market with priority, and Log in to read complete article.

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