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Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana Paraskova

Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews. 

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Germany Aims To Close All Nuclear Plants By 2022

Germany is going forward with its plan to phase out nuclear reactors by 2022 as another nuclear power plant is going offline on December 31.

Power company EnBW has said that it would take the Philippsburg 2 reactor off the grid at 7 p.m. local time on New Year’s Eve.

This leaves Germany with six nuclear power plants that will have to close by 2022.

In the wake of the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011, Germany ordered the immediate shutdown of eight of its 17 reactors, and plans to phase out nuclear power plants entirely by 2022.

The Philippsburg 2 reactor near the city of Karlsruhe in southwestern Germany has provided energy for 35 years. The Philippsburg 1 reactor—opened in 1979—was taken offline in 2011.

Over the past few years, nuclear power generation in Germany has been declining with the shutdown of its nuclear plants, while electricity production from renewable sources has been rising.

In January this year, Germany became the latest large European economy to lay out a plan to phase out coal-fired power generation, aimed at cutting carbon emissions—a metric in which Berlin has been lagging in recent years.

A government-appointed special commission at Europe’s largest economy announced the conclusions of its months-long review and proposed that Germany shut all its 84 coal-fired power plants by 2038

Germany, where coal, hard coal, and lignite combined currently provide around 35 percent of power generation, has a longer timetable for phasing out coal than the UK and Italy, for example—who plan their coal exit by 2025—not only because of its vast coal industry, but also because Germany will shut down all its nuclear power plants within the next three years.

The closure of all nuclear reactors in Germany by 2022 means that Germany might need to retain half of its coal-fired power generation until 2030 to offset the nuclear phase-out, German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier said earlier this year.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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  • Mamdouh Salameh on December 30 2019 said:
    In fact Germany decided to shut down its nuclear reactors long before the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011. The Fukushima incident merely strengthened Germany’s determination to phase out nuclear energy.

    Germany’s energy policy’s ultimate aim is to replace nuclear energy and coal with renewable energy. And while the German government has already announced its intention to shut down all its 84 coal-fired power plants by 2038, it allowed a longer timetable for phasing out coal not only because of its vast coal industry but also because of the imminent closure of its nuclear power plants by 2022.

    Moreover, Germany will be receiving bigger volumes of Russian natural gas once Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is completed early next year. It has also been building LNG terminals in preparation for receiving shipments of LNG from the US, Qatar, Australia and Russia.

    However, US LNG exports to Germany and the European Union (EU) could be seriously affected with the latest sanctions that the United States threatened to impose on companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2. Germany which has adamantly supported the gas pipeline may decide to shun US LNG exports altogether in retaliation against what it describes as United States’ interference in its domestic affairs and the EU’s and buy instead Russian or Qatari or Australian LNG instead.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Seth D on January 01 2020 said:
    As written up in Financial Times, and elsewhere, much of the nuclear waste in Germany has to safely be stored for 100,000 years.

    100,000 years for just a few decades of production!
  • Roddy Pfeiffer on January 01 2020 said:
    China is building 20 nuclear power plants. They are also building or planning to build over 300 coal-fired plants around the world. What Germany does or does not do amounts to virtue signaling.

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