April 13, 2015 / 7:44 AM / 5 years ago

More German power plant projects not viable - producer lobby

FRANKFURT, April 13 (Reuters) - The economic viability of some 53 percent or 39 of the power plants planned for construction in Europe’s largest economy by 2025 has been called into question, German energy industry association BDEW said in a statement on Monday.

The association said investors were nervous because of lacking profitability for coal- and gas-fired power stations because of competing energy supplies from subsidised renewable power, and a tougher carbon emissions regime.

A year ago, the BDEW had called into question 43 percent of 32 projects in the pipeline at that stage.

“If politicians carry on as they do now then there will be no new, modern power stations,” managing director Hildegard Mueller said. “There are no incentives whatsoever for investments, despite politicians emphasising all the time that they aim to change this.”

Germany, which is due to phase out nuclear energy by 2022, could face supply bottlenecks in the next few years unless action was taken to encourage the construction of more power stations to ensure stable supply, the Berlin-based group said.

The lobby traditionally issues plant data at its press conference on the first day of the Hanover trade fair, the showcase for Germany’s industry, using the event to drive home its demands for what it considers effective energy policy.

It warned that if current plant closure plans were added up with likely cancellations of planned new projects, some 16,700 MW of so-called secure load, that runs 24 hours, would be shut by 2022.

Wind and solar energy have been expanding fast but are not secure as they cannot guarantee supply at all times.

The government has been focusing on reforming generous support for such green energy, mainly to rein in costs for consumers.

It has also sought to reassure energy companies it has no plans to shut down lignite mines that provide highly carbon polluting feed-stock for domestic brown coal, a big part of the power mix.

BDEW represents around 1,800 companies active in the production, transport and sale of power, gas, water and heat. (Reporting by Vera Eckert; Editing by Maria Sheahan)

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