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Widespread public support for Germany’s nuclear phaseout, as renewable energy expands

TechXplore, 5 Mar 21,    ”……….By the end of 2022, Germany will have achieved its goal of completely phasing out nuclear power, set by Chancellor Angela Merkel on May 30, 2011.

The plan represented a dramatic change of course by Merkel’s ruling conservatives, who just a few months earlier had agreed to extend the lifespan of Germany’s oldest power stations.

It was met with widespread public support in a country with a powerful anti-nuclear movement, fuelled first by fears of a Cold War conflict and then by disasters such as Chernobyl.

Yet it also prompted a lengthy legal battle with major energy companies, which ended Friday with Berlin’s agreement to pay 2.4 billion euros worth of compensation to nuclear power plant operators………

The German government is still looking for a long-term storage site for the country’s residual nuclear waste.

Renewables have seen a spectacular rise since 2011 and in 2020 made up more than 50 percent of Germany’s energy mix for the first time, according to the Fraunhofer research institute—compared with less than 25 percent 10 years ago.

The declining importance of nuclear power (12.5 percent in 2020) “has been compensated for by the expansion of renewable energies”, Claudia Kemfert, an energy expert at the DIW economic research institute, told AFP.

Nuclear power stations have therefore not been replaced by coal, though the fossil fuel does still represent almost a quarter of the electricity mix.

March 6, 2021 - Posted by | Germany, politics

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