Germany has recently struggled with an energy crisis, with the country’s power companies struggling to keep up. This is largely due to Germany’s dependence on coal and nuclear fuel being unable to produce enough electricity in such a short amount of time.
The “germany nuclear power phase out” is a topic that has been widely discussed in the news recently. Germany’s decision to abandon nuclear power, in favor of renewable energy sources, was made in order to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
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6:52 p.m., December 22, 2021 ET
On November 8, steam rises from the Grohnde Nuclear Power Plant’s cooling towers in Grohnde, Germany.
Sean Gallup/Getty Images/Sean Gallup/Getty Images/Sean Gallup/G
A nation facing a generational energy shortage may be expected to do everything necessary to increase supplies. Despite this, Germany plans to close three nuclear power reactors by the end of the year, accounting for almost half of the country’s nuclear power output.
Ten years ago, 17 nuclear reactors provided over a quarter of Germany’s energy, but the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 pushed former Chancellor Angela Merkel to phase out nuclear power. Three reactors will go down this month, with the remaining three shutting down next year. On economic, climatic, and geopolitical reasons, it’s difficult to imagine a more self-defeating program.
The shutdown had been foreseen for years, but keeping the reactors operational for longer than planned may have alleviated some of the agony Germans are experiencing now as global demand pushes up energy prices. The one-year forward price of electricity in Germany has surpassed €300 per megawatt hour. In contrast, the average price per megawatt hour from 2010 to 2020 was less than €50.
Many of Germany’s climate-change zealots embrace the anti-nuclear campaign, but forsaking carbon-free nuclear power has had predicted emissions consequences. In the first half of 2021, coal was Germany’s most important energy source, providing more than a quarter of the country’s power. Wind and solar accounted for 22% and 9% of total production, respectively, while nuclear accounted for roughly 12%.
France emits half as much carbon dioxide per capita as Germany, thanks to its heavy reliance on nuclear power. As a consequence of nuclear outages and increased susceptibility to spiking natural gas costs, the French are now dealing with high energy prices. However, Paris is retaliating by constructing additional nuclear reactors.
Berlin is increasing its dependence on Russian gas to keep the lights on, while being at the whim of the sun and wind. This is the context for the US’s lackluster reaction to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. Despite objections from friends, Germany’s unwavering backing for Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas project hinders the West’s reaction to Vladimir Putin’s plans to control Eastern Europe.
Germany is now lobbying for nuclear power to be removed from the European Union’s list of “environmentally sustainable economic activities,” a classification that might reduce the cost of nuclear project funding. It’s bad enough that Germany has jeopardized its own energy security; they shouldn’t impose their self-destructive agenda on the rest of Europe.
The energy supply crisis is exacerbated by poor policy decisions. Associated Press photo
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The print version of the December 23, 2021, was published.
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