Friday, May 27, 2005

Will Germany Flip On Nuclear Energy?

Back in March we told you about how the electrical utility executive who negotiated the planned phase-out of German nuclear power plants was predicting that the decision would eventually be reversed. Now, with perhaps some political changes in the offing, nuclear energy may be making a comeback. Here's Deutsche Welle:

After Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's center-left coalition of Social Democrats (SPD) and environmentalist Greens hammered out an agreement in 2001 with the energy industry to slowly phase out Germany's nuclear power plants, most Germans thought the subject was dead and buried.

But Schröder's decision to call for an early general election this fall after his party was trounced in a regional poll on Sunday has changed the political landscape. Suddenly, the conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) are considered favorites to form the next government in Berlin. And that has convinced many in the energy sector that reports of nuclear power's demise may have been premature.

"If the CDU wins the election, economic aspects of the power industry would take precedence over the environmental," Klaus Rauscher, head of utility Vattenfall's European operations, told the Handelsblatt newspaper.
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3 comments:

Norris McDonald said...

Let's hope the CDU prevalis. However, by embracing nuclear, it does not favor the economy over the environment; it compliments the economy and the environment.

I recently debated a German anti nuclear activist on a BBC radio show and the guy was saying that wind power could replace all of the nuclear plants. He estimated that Germany already has approximately 1,000 four megawatt windmills. Does anyone know if this estimate is true? It was easy to dismantle the wind replaces nuclear argument.

Brian Spears said...

If the financial markets are any predictor, the German nuclear industry is looking better.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L18401482.htm

Matthew Bohun said...

The funny thing about the Germans is, they are largely self-interested and pragmatic. It suited them to vote for the Greens when they looked like the best option. I believe, however, that Gerrman voters know the difference between the polemics of the "Green" movement, and the fact of global warming and the role nuclear fueled electricity generation could play in its mitigation. I have no doubt that the German electorate will vote in favor of science and the most environmentally benign form of electricity generation - nuclear reactors.