March 24, 2023

Germany takes a step forward in its goal of disengaging from nuclear energy. The German government maintains the objective of proceeding to the “nuclear blackout” on April 15.

The Minister of the Environment, the green Steffi Lemke, ratified in statements to the media group “Mediengruppe” that there will be no new extension or reserve situation for these plants, since the energy supply is guaranteed.

“The risks of atomic energy are uncontrollable,” added the minister, for whom the energy supply situation in Germany is better than in some “neighboring countries” more dependent on their nuclear plants. “Betting on the development of renewables will be, in the long run, the best way to guarantee price stability in the sector,” according to Lemke.

Prolongation for the war in Ukraine

Initially, the goodbye to nuclear energy was to take place on December 31, 2022, the scheduled date to deactivate the last three plants. However, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s tripartite party between Social Democrats, Greens and Liberals succeeded in an extension in October to guarantee supply in the face of the energy crisis precipitated by the war in Ukraine. The decision was taken personally by Scholz, given that his liberal and green partners did not reach an agreement on the matter.

Scholz made use of his special powers and probably to the three ministries involved – the Economy and Climate Protection and the Environment, which are led by the greens, and the Finance, of the liberal Christian Lindner – drew up a new regulation to open the corresponding parliamentary procedure.

The decision implied that the last plants- Isar 2 and Neckar 2, in the south of the country, and Lingen, in the center, would be disconnected on April 15, as a compromise solution to the fight maintained by the Minister of Economy, the green Robert Habeck, and the liberal Lindner, in charge of Finance.

For the Greens, a party for whom the blackout is a kind of hallmark, any postponement was hard to swallow, while Lindner’s Liberals insisted the three plants would probably remain in operation or in reserve until 2024.

Both Habeck and Lemke considered Scholz’s decision to be acceptable, since it implies that it will not be necessary to use new fuel rods -nor will more radioactive waste be generated-, but that the existing ones will continue until April 15.

Reduce your energy dependency

Gerhard Schröder in 2000, with the Greens as allies, and recovered in 2011 by the conservative Angela Merkel following the catastrophe at the Japanese power plant in Fukushima.

The last three plants provided barely 6% of total electricity consumption at the end of 2022, but the needs for security of supply were met.

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Germany has accelerated the reduction of its energy dependence on Moscow to a minimum. In exchange, it has had to reactivate several coal farms, although it maintains the goal of also abandoning this source of energy between 2030 and 2038.

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