Germany: Owners consider Prokon cooperative future

In July, nearly 100,000 creditors and profit-participation-certificate bearers will decide the future of German wind developer Prokon Regenerative Energien, which declared insolvency in January 2014.

The options are to turn Prokon into an energy cooperative or sell it to EnBW, one of Germany's big four electricity companies. EnBW was selected as preferred investor in May and received regulator approval for the potential takeover in June.

One key question is whether wind energy cooperatives can prosper in the face of restrictions on annual German onshore wind expansion and the upcoming auction procedure for setting wind-project support, introduced in the 2014 revision of the German Renewable Energy Act.

GLS, a major German cooperative bank is deciding whether to continue to operate Prokon, worth EUR640 million, or sell it to EnBW for EUR550 million. Prokon creditors may ask how secure Prokon's future may be after EnBW's EUR450 million loss in 2014 and its potential need for substantially higher nuclear decommissioning reserves.

A GLS spokesman pointed out that Prokon looks in better shape than EnBW now the turnaround is complete.

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