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  1. #1
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    Will Germany Revert to Coal as it Phases out Nuclear Power?

    Germany’s decision to halt its use of nuclear power within a decade is all in the context of the Japanese nuclear accident that occurred in March 2011. While Merkel is insisting that renewable energy can make up for nuclear power’s current composition, others are expressing fears that coal-fired electricity will fill much of the void.

    The current passion to go nuke-free may ultimately subside. Consider that in March 2011, Germany received 25 percent of its electricity from 17 nuclear reactors. Following the Fukushima accident, the country shut down 8 of those plants.

    Coal now supplies 41 percent of Germany’s electric generation, says the World Coal Association. The country has consumed about 5 percent more coal since the Japanese nuclear crisis.

  2. #2
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    German households there will pay a surcharge amounting to $324 per year on top of their current bill.

    The added fees will be used to fund the development of renewable technologies. At present, green energy there accounts for a quarter of the electricity burned but the aim is to see it reach 40 percent when the country’s nuclear plants are totally phased out by 2022. Germany hopes that green energy will equate to 80 percent of the generation portfolio by 2050.

  3. #3
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    First, lets define green energy first. Hydropower, windpower, solarpower, burning wood and other bio stuff. What else?
    The worst thing with green energy is its intermittence. There could be times, when no sun is shining and little wind is blowing over germany with hydropower at its low levels. During that time people still need electricity and it must be generated somehow. It would be naive to rely on imports during that low energy period. As in great quantities during low wind neighbours need their power generation for themselves. Also Germany still needs to keep up existing coal and other fossil fuel plants for such a case. Even worse, these fossil fuel plants must be warm to some degree in order to be able to start producing power when there is a power usage surge or loss of green production. That again produces CO2 without generating useful electricity.
    Hydropower is already harnessed to its maximum in developed countries like Germany. So there will be no big increase.
    For me it remains a big question how 80% of green energy is achievable if Germany is not able to transport electricity inside the country from north to south. Not speaking of idling coal stations and rapidly changing power generation sources.

  4. #4
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    Coal and natural gas stations are not necessary to smooth out the intermittency of renewable energy sources. Nuclear power do the same job, but in a carbon emission-free way.

    Also the intermittent nature of renewables can be solved with decent energy storage technology. That is what Germany really needs, to develop an efficient and cheap energy storage technology that can be installed on a grid-scale.

    The other manner to solve the intermittency problems that is being pursued is with variety, by linking the energy grids of each country in Europe, so that if Germany does indeed have a poor production day, then another country that has produced an excess can help to make up the difference.

  5. #5
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    Economics normally wins in the end and the nat gas boom has made coal cheap. I'm not sure on the actual figures as to how much nuclear contributed to Germany's energy production but one thing i do know and that is renewables are nowhere close to picking up the slack. Expect Germany to increase coal usage in the future.

  6. #6
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    Germany is studying fracking and will frack as soon as they overcome their green extremists. They have to take time to study it themselves. All of Europe will frack eventually. France may be last, but that is because their nuclear industry controls their politicians. Their plants are getting old, and they have more shale than anyone else in Europe. The UK and Poland are leading the way.

  7. #7
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    The UK and Poland are leading the way, but Europe, and especially Germany, are worried at the speed with which the UK is entering fracking. New guidelines will be introduced by the European Parliament to help regulate environmental and safety issues.

    EU Looks to Introduce Regulations in Order to Control UK's Fracking Plans