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German power plant closure applications rise to 7,740 MW: BNetzA

Highlights

German power plant operators have filed applications for the closure of 46 power generation units with a combined capacity of 7,740 MW, German grid regulator BNetzA said.

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According to BNetzA's latest list of planned closure applications, this number now also includes the earlier than planned shut-down of E.ON's 1,275 MW Grafenrheinfeld reactor.

Overall, 4,337 MW of the planned power plant closure applications are for southern Germany, it said.

Last year, the grid regulator said that it wouldn't accept any more closures from southern Germany.


Power plant operators in Germany have to register planned power plant closures at least one year in advance with the grid regulator, which has to analyse whether the plant is needed for the stability of the power grid.

Should the regulator judge the plant as system-critical, the plant operator will receive compensation for the continued operation of the plant.

Seven of the 46 units have already been judged as system-critical, fall of them located in southern Germany, it said.

The background to the closures is the under-utilization of mainly older fossil-fueled power plants amid the boom in renewables, annual demand declines and cheaper coal and carbon prices, favoring lignite- and coal-fired power generation.

E.ON said in March it plans to retire its Grafenrheinfeld nuclear reactor in May 2015, seven months ahead of the planned shutdown under Germany's nuclear phase-out law.

The brevity of Grafenrheinfeld's remaining operating lifetime makes an early shutdown unavoidable in the interests of E.ON's shareholders, it said.

--Andreas Franke, andreas.franke@platts.com
--Edited by Alisdair Bowles, alisdair.bowles@platts.com