Germany wants to phase out nuclear energy by 2022 and increase the share of wind energy. But will they manage to make the cut?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, said the decision to phase out nuclear energy by 2022 can make his country a pioneer in renewable energy. Merkel said that Germany could make money from the change.
Germany is the largest industrial power in renouncing nuclear energy following a change in policy of the ruling coalition of center-right. Merkel established a panel to review the nuclear energy after the crisis of central Fukushima, Japan.
The crisis, caused by an earthquake and tsunami that occurred in March, led to massive protests against nuclear power in Germany. The unit is driven by anti-nuclear Green party in Germany, which took control of the Christian Democratic stronghold of Baden-Wuerttemberg, in late March.
Analysts say that Merkel might be interested in a future coalition with the Greens.
Merkel noted that this review of the “fundamentals” of its policy, Germany would be an example for other countries. “As a country we can be pioneers of a new era of renewable energy,” Merkel said according to AFP news agency.
“We can be the first industrialized country to achieve the transition to renewable energy-with all the opportunities for exports, development, technology, jobs, trucking.”
He said the electricity in the future must be “safer and at the same time, reliable and affordable,” regarding the crisis in Japan. “We learned from Fukushima we face risks in another way,” he said.
According to this plan, the seven oldest reactors in the country, which went out immediately after the Japanese crisis for a safety review, will never again be used. An eighth-floor installation Kruemmel in northern Germany, which was already offline and has been plagued by technical problems, also will be closed forever. Another six will operate later than 2021, and the three most recent to do so in 2022.
The previous German government, a coalition of center-left Social Democrats (SPD) and Greens, decided to shut down Germany’s nuclear plants by 2021.
However, Merkel’s coalition scrapped those plans in September last year and announced it would extend the life of the country’s nuclear reactors by an average of 12 years.
The decision to extend was not popular in Germany, even before the radioactive leak at the plant in Fukushima. After Fukushima, Merkel quickly scrapped its expansion plan and announced a review.
Germany’s nuclear power industry, however, says that early closure would be detrimental to the country’s industrial base.
Before the March moratorium on older power plants, Germany based on nuclear power generation 23% of the total energy consumed in the country.