Germany Takes The Lead

Several days ago, Germany announced that it will close all of its nuclear power plants by the year 2022.  This was a massive reversal considering Chancellor Merkel had recently agreed to extend the lives of several nuclear plants.  But after the Japanese earthquake and nuclear disaster the German Green Party won some critical state elections and rose up to stop the continued use of nuclear power in Germany.  Read this timeline to see how the use of nuclear power has developed and met its demise in Germany.  Sales projections have been released which say that the top three nuclear operators in Germany will lose approximately 3.5 billion Euros a year in lost sales charges.  This assumes that these energy providers will do nothing to expand and diversify their generation ability, which is largely unrealistic.  Since Germany intends to replace its nuclear generation with renewable or clean energy sources, these companies will recoup some, if not all, of their lost sales revenue.  What makes this all significant however is the fact that one of the richest industrial nations in the world is leading the way in the deployment and development of clean energy generation, as well as energy efficiency.  Maybe someday soon, the people of the United States will come out of their tornado shelters and realize that they have a responsibility toward this planet as well.  We can only hope.

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This entry was posted in Energy, Environment, Morality, Politics, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Germany Takes The Lead

  1. Hugo says:

    I see how this is feesable in Germany were they are one of the European leaders in renewable energy but with China going ahead with it’s plans to build new fourth generations reactors with the help of Westinghouse http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/energy-environment/25chinanuke.html the nuclear debate will still be around for a long time to come.

    • Hugo, If this transition away from nuclear (and hopefully away from fossil fuels as well) proves to be physically and economically possible for Germany, it will show that it is possible for any industrialized nation. Germany is the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world. True they have been leaders in the realm of renewable energy development and deployment but that only points out the short comings of nations like the United States, which have fought these technology transitions based on supporting entrenched industries. China has already changed its course and is rapidly becoming the largest producer of solar hardware. Though a case can be made for the continued use of existing, functional nuclear installations, the German people have acknowledged that nuclear is not an environmentally viable energy source. Though plans have been proposed for smaller, safer plants, the energy and effort necessary for fuel extraction, processing and storage illustrate just a few of the shortcomings associated with nuclear energy. These externalities are less prevalent with other “renewable” energy sources. Furthermore, the technology behind solar, for example, continues to gain in efficiency, as you can see here. Though the nuclear debate will not end anytime soon, this technology will eventually be regarded simply as a stop gap in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

      • Anonymous says:

        You make a good point by emphasising the continual advancement of renewable energy but with world populations growing exponentialy and the increasing disparity in weath between industialized and non-industialized nation states one has to wonder who would reap the benefits of green energy. While it is true that said non-industial naitons can take the apropriate steps to develop green evergy infrastructure on a mass scale though assistance provided by the IMF, I am not a fan of the IMF’s predatory practices. To sumarise my argument and before I go of on an anti IMF rant I belive that in order for renewable evergy to truly make an impact in has to be redaly availabe to everyone regardless of social status and nationalety.

  2. Hugo says:

    Just realized I forgot to leave my name on the previous post

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