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Nuclear exit to unleash wind power in Northern Germany

Nuclear exit to unleash wind power in Northern Germany

By Charlotte Nijhuis and Nikolaus J. Kurmayer | with CLEW 10 Dec 2021

The shutdown of the last nuclear power plant in Schleswig-Holstein will unclog the electricity grid and unleash wind power in the northern German state, according to its environment minister Jan Philipp Albrecht, reports Clean Energy Wire.

“Nuclear power is clogging our grids, especially in the direction of the south,” Albrecht told press agency dpa.

Due to grid bottlenecks, offshore wind turbines indeed have to be switched off in some cases. 

The importance of nuclear power as a whole is therefore overestimated,” Albrecht added.

After the shutdown of the nuclear plant at the end of this year, the north of Germany could cover 160% of its electricity needs with renewable energy and there will be more wind power exports to the south, Albrecht said. 

Fears of power blackouts due to the nuclear phaseout are unfounded, he said. “After all, we will continue to massively expand renewable energies in Germany now. In the future, we will not be dependent on nuclear power being generated in France.”

His anti-nuclear party, the Greens, have recently entered federal government in Germany, with Super-Minister Robert Habeck in charge of boosting the expansion of renewable energies up to 80% of the country’s power supply.

Germany is set to turn off the nuclear reactors Grohnde, Gundremmingen C and Brokdorf by the end of December.

Shutting down the remaining three nuclear reactors in 2022 will then conclude a decades-long struggle by the anti-nuclear movement that gave rise to the Green Party and other environmental groups in the 1980s. 

…….researchers are confident that the shutdown of Germany’s last nuclear power plants will not cause supply shortages, according to calculations by the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin).

In order to keep grid operation stable, congestion management will need to be adjusted. But “the lights will not go out in Germany,” study author Claudia Kemfert said in statement. 

“On the contrary: the [nuclear] shutdown paves the way for the overdue expansion of renewable energies. Nuclear energy was uneconomical from the start and characterised by incalculable risks,” she added………

December 11, 2021 - Posted by | Germany, renewable

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