Germany's energy u-turn taking a big toll on big power companies


On the heels of Japan's Fukushima disaster, Germany made the decision last year to phase out nuclear power by 2022 and replace it with power from renewables. The ambitious move raised plenty of uncertainty - from the impact on electricity prices (some say consumer prices could jump 20% to 60% by 2020) to the overall impact on the economy.  


But according to a report in The Economist, one thing is certain, at this point anyway: The impact on Germany's big four power companies has been huge. They are the big losers in what has been dubbed Germany's energy u-turn.


Just a few years back the big four - E.ON, EnBW, RWE and Valtenfall - provided 86% of the country's power supply, controlled most of the transmission system and profits were juicy, according to The Economist.