Karlsruhe. EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG will not appeal against the directives issued by the authorities to temporarily shut down its Neckarwestheim I and Philippsburg 1 nuclear power plants for a period of three months. This decision was made by EnBW’s Board of Management in consultation with the Supervisory Board following in-depth discussion and careful consideration.
EnBW has great doubt as to the legality of the directives and will sustain a considerable loss in contribution margins as a result of the downtime of the power plants. However, this decision was not taken alone on the basis of short-term economic disadvantages, but also with a view to retaining customer relationships in the long term and the acceptance of the company by the general public and political decision-makers. As an operator of nuclear power plants, EnBW has a culture of high safety standards and a great sense of responsibility that extends beyond the safe operation of power stations.
Acceptance by the general public is of fundamental importance for the future of the energy infrastructure, and this applies for electricity generation and electricity grids alike. The challenge is to regain acceptance of such infrastructure in Germany. Over the last few days, EnBW has repeated on a number of occasions its willingness to openly discuss with politicians the future of what are referred to as “old facilities”. Without such an open dialogue, it will be virtually impossible to achieve a new and realistic energy policy consensus in Germany and the urgently needed stable regulatory environment for the energy industry. Such a dialogue may then increase acceptance for the urgently needed extension of the grid and the expansion of storage power stations in Germany. EnBW’s decision is an important contribution to this dialogue.