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Germany rules out delay to nuclear phaseout

Germany’s three remaining nuclear power stations are due to close at the end of the year

DW, 21 Aug 22, Germany won’t extend the lifespan of three remaining nuclear power stations due to the energy crisis, Economy Minister Robert Habeck said. He also warned against public panic over a potential winter gas shortage.

Germany’s three remaining nuclear power stations are due to close at the end of the year

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said Sunday that allowing the country’s three last nuclear power stations to remain operational would be of little help in solving the country’s energy crisis.

Speaking during a discussion with citizens at the government’s open-door day in Berlin, Habeck said extending the lifespan of the plants — which are due to close at the end of the year — would only save about 2% of gas use.

t is the “wrong decision given how little we would save,” Habeck, who is also Vice Chancellor, added.

One nuclear plant could stay open

However, the minister said he was open to extending the lifespan of one nuclear plant in Bavaria, subject to the results of a stress test of the country’s power system.

The results of the test, to calculate how the country will cope if Russia cuts off natural gas supplies this winter, are due out in a few weeks.

Bavaria is a major manufacturing hub that depends on gas-fired power plants and has few coal-fired plants and low wind power production.

Germany has been phasing out nuclear energy since legislation was passed by former Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan.

But voices calling for some nuclear plants to be kept in use have grown louder since energy prices soared over the past year and tensions with one of Germany’s main suppliers, Russia, intensified. The government has not signaled that it would reconsider the Merkel-era policy.

No need to panic over winter gas supplies

Habeck also told the public not to panic about the prospect of a gas shortage during the colder months, noting if households and industry cut their usage by 15-20% “then we have a really good chance of getting through the winter.” 

Even if Russia were to cut supplies entirely, there would be no situation where zero gas would reach Germany, the minister said,……….

Over the longer term, Habeck said Germany must expand its investment in renewable energies and phase out fossil fuels, which he said were the cause of many political conflicts and abuse of power………….

August 21, 2022 - Posted by | Germany, politics

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