Skip to main content

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.
Technorati tags: , , , , ,

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.

Popular posts from this blog

Knowing What You’ve Got Before It’s Gone in Nuclear Energy

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior director of policy analysis and strategic planning at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

Nuclear energy is by far the largest source of carbon prevention in the United States, but this is a rough time to be in the business of selling electricity due to cheap natural gas and a flood of subsidized renewable energy. Some nuclear plants have closed prematurely, and others likely will follow.
In recent weeks, Exelon and the Omaha Public Power District said that they might close the Clinton, Quad Cities and Fort Calhoun nuclear reactors. As Joni Mitchell’s famous song says, “Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone.”
More than 100 energy and policy experts will gather in a U.S. Senate meeting room on May 19 to talk about how to improve the viability of existing nuclear plants. The event will be webcast, and a link will be available here.
Unlike other energy sources, nuclear power plants get no specia…

Making Clouds for a Living

Donell Banks works at Southern Nuclear’s Plant Vogtle units 3 and 4 as a shift supervisor in Operations, but is in the process of transitioning to his newly appointed role as the daily work controls manager. He has been in the nuclear energy industry for about 11 years.

I love what I do because I have the unique opportunity to help shape the direction and influence the culture for the future of nuclear power in the United States. Every single day presents a new challenge, but I wouldn't have it any other way. As a shift supervisor, I was primarily responsible for managing the development of procedures and programs to support operation of the first new nuclear units in the United States in more than 30 years. As the daily work controls manager, I will be responsible for oversight of the execution and scheduling of daily work to ensure organizational readiness to operate the new units.

I envision a nuclear energy industry that leverages the technology of today to improve efficiency…

Nuclear: Energy for All Political Seasons

The electoral college will soon confirm a surprise election result, Donald Trump. However, in the electricity world, there are fewer surprises – physics and economics will continue to apply, and Republicans and Democrats are going to find a lot to like about nuclear energy over the next four years.

In a Trump administration, the carbon conversation is going to be less prominent. But the nuclear value proposition is still there. We bring steady jobs to rural areas, including in the Rust Belt, which put Donald Trump in office. Nuclear plants keep the surrounding communities vibrant.

We hold down electricity costs for the whole economy. We provide energy diversity, reducing the risk of disruption. We are a critical part of America’s industrial infrastructure, and the importance of infrastructure is something that President-Elect Trump has stressed.

One of our infrastructure challenges is natural gas pipelines, which have gotten more congested as extremely low gas prices have pulled m…