Friday, March 28, 2014

EON to Close Atomic Reactor in BMW’s Backyard 7 Months Early

Bavaria is: 50% nuclear, inhospitable (politically) to wind but very much into solar.
It is the richest state and, not unrelated, it is the state with the greatest positive balance from renewable energy (rich Bavarians receive more for their contract solar production than Bavarians pay in EEG charges).  

EON to Close Atomic Reactor in BMW’s Backyard 7 Months Early (1) - Businessweek:
EON SE (EOAN) wants to shutter a nuclear plant in Bavaria seven months ahead of schedule, cutting power capacity in the home of Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW) and Siemens AG as Germany’s biggest utility tries to save money.
EON notified the Bundesnetzagentur regulator and the grid operator of its plan to close the 1,275-megawatt plant at the end of May 2015 “because of its lack of profitability,” the Dusseldorf-based utility said in a statement.
Grafenrheinfeld, in operation since 1982, was due to shut under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s policy to switch off all atomic plants by 2022 and replace them with renewable energy. The early closing will save EON as much as 80 million euros ($110 million) in nuclear-fuel taxes, TV station ARD Haupstadtstudio said today. EON shares rose to the highest in more than a month.
The decision was “unavoidable,” EON said. “The continued operation of nuclear power stations in Germany only makes economic sense if they can operate for a sufficient length of time without the burden of the nuclear-fuel tax,”
Grafenrheinfeld’s early closure will “strongly” drive up costs for consumers, said TenneT TSO GmbH, the grid operator.
TenneT will have to “starkly increase interventions in the market to stabilize the grid,” Chief Executive Officer Martin Fuchs said
Continue reading at Businessweek

The nuclear fuel tax is a rather repugnant tool given that it was introduced as a compromise to allow the continued operation of nuclear reactors not long before rescinding the extension on operation.
I'm sure EON would love to be ordered to keep the reactor running - many gas and coal generators are saying they'll close, allowing for them to be paid to stay open if they are deemed critical for the grid.  A close second, for EON, would be shuttering with the hope that would drive up power prices and increase revenues from their other generating units.

My recollection is Bavaria's solar capacity can meet it's demand needs at times - but with capacity figures around 10%, it more often meets no demand at all.

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