Karlsruhe. EnBW has received notification from the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) that its application to close four power plant units in Marbach and Walheim has been declined. These power plant units are "system-relevant" according to the Federal Network Agency's findings, and must be operated further until at least July 2016 as a consequence. EnBW has appealed against this ruling at the Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court in order to assert its legal position. Irrespective of this, EnBW will continue to conduct its constructive discussions with the Federal Network Agency concerning the transfer of plants to the reserve power plant regime, of course.
EnBW supports the new national energy concept (“Energiewende”) and wishes to contribute actively to making it succeed. EnBW acts responsibly to ensure supply security as a power plant operator. In particular, it does not question the system relevance of its power plants to ensure general supply security as determined by the transmission system operators and the Federal Network Agency.
From an economic and business perspective, however, this important function of power plants is given insufficient attention in the current legal framework. Due to the opaque legal cost reimbursement system, it cannot be excluded that EnBW incurs economic and commercial dis-benefits as a result of the measures ordered in the Federal Network Agency's ruling of 19 December 2013.
Moreover, the fact that, according to the law, no compensation is paid during the first year after the application has been submitted is a point worthy of particular criticism. The regulation as it currently stands also results in competitive distortions. To the north of the Main River – the dividing line between North and South Germany – power plants can be "mothballed" (conserved in cold reserve) at short notice due to the fact that "system relevance" is unlikely to apply there. Such power plants can be reactivated at any later date and be brought back onto the market. Power plant operators to the south of the Main River line do not have this option, which restricts the freedom with which they conduct their business. The question of potential unequal treatment also arises for power plants in neighbouring countries.
Given this, EnBW anticipates an economically and commercially appropriate, competitively fair, and non-discriminatory regulation, which the current legal framework does not provide for sufficiently.