Nuclear power supplied 23% of Germany’s energy and the announcement caused shares in RWE and E.ON to plummet by 1.7% and 2.3% respectively as RWE had already stated that the government’s move would hit profits by a "three-digit million-euro" figure. Additionally, RWE and E.ON were the biggest fallers in Alva’s Reputation index decreasing by 1.23% and 1.97% respectively as the announcement triggered increased negative coverage over the future of nuclear power internationally and stock market jitters.

Germany’s move is likely to increase "renewable competition" worldwide and it threw down the gauntlet to the UK whose own coalition government has set the target to become the "greenest" government ever. Additionally, a Scottish National Party (SNP) spokesman said that, following Germany’s decision, the SNP Government is now more committed to its target to generate the equivalent of 100% of Scotland’s own electricity by 2020 with a £300m inward investment plan to develop the next generation of offshore wind turbines already taking place.

While Japan tries to recover from its nuclear catastrophe, Germany has set an example of how to make a fundamental change in a country’s energy system and respond to the massive anti-nuclear protests around the globe. Although Germany was highly criticised for losing its energy independence, the action revealed that, for the first time, a complete reliability on clean renewable sources to satisfy national energy demand is not something unachievable and increased the calls from environmentalists for every government to follow suit. 

The recent actions by Iberdrola and EDF to acquire their renewable arms have seen the companies benefit from the increasing confidence in the renewable sector. It will be interesting to see how companies such as RWE and E.ON will act in order mitigate their reputational loss and face the increasing "nukeophobia" that might prove catastrophic.

Alva’s methodology

Alva calculates its reputation scores on a 1 to 10 fractional value basis, which represents the perception of various stakeholders and market segments at any given point in time. The scores are based on the daily analysis of over half a million news and financial announcements, trading and analyst reports and social media comments.

—- Nicholas Chrysanthou, energy consultant analyst at Alva