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Germany Weighs Extending Nuclear Plants Lifespans In Major Russia-Inspired Reversal

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

As fighting involving Russia and Ukraine enters its sixth day, Germany is starting to reconsider its decision to dial back its reliance on nuclear power in an effort to secure its energy supply, which is presently dependent on natural gas imports from the Russian Federation.

Reversing an earlier policy adopted under former Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany has decided to extend the lifespan of its remaining nuclear power plants, according to Economy Minister Robert Habeck. It's part of a broader plan for Germany to derive 100% of its energy from "renewable" sources by 2035.

Previously, Germany had planned to shutter its nuclear plants by the end of 2022. Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim 2 remain the last nuclear plants that produce power in Germany following the country's decision a decade ago to phase out nuclear power in the wake of Japan's disaster at Fukushima.

Here's more from Reuters:

Germany is weighing whether to extend the life-span of its remaining nuclear power plants as a way to secure the country's energy supply in the face of uncertainty over Russian gas supplies, the country's economy minister said.

Asked by German broadcaster ARD whether he could imagine letting nuclear plants run longer than planned under Germany's exit plan, which foresees shutting down the country's three remaining plans by the end of 2022, Robert Habeck said: "It is part of my ministry's tasks to answer this question. I would not reject it on ideological grounds – but the preliminary examination has shown that it does not help us."

The three plants are owned by German energy firms E.ON, RWE and EnBW, respectively. Habeck said the three operators have already informed the government that extending their lifespans won't impact energy production during the 2022-2023 winter season.

"Because the preparations for the shutdowns are already so far advanced that the nuclear power plants could only continue to operate under the highest safety concerns and possibly with fuel supplies that have not yet been secured," Habeck said. "And that is certainly not what we want."

Here's how Habeck described Germany's other plans for improving its reliance on renewables to 100%, according to Reuters.

According to the paper, the corresponding amendment to the country's Renewable Energy Sources Act (EEG) is ready and the share of wind or solar power should reach 80% by 2030.

By then, Germany's onshore wind energy capacity should double to up to 110 gigawatts, offshore wind energy should reach 30 GW – arithmetically the capacity of 10 nuclear plants – and solar energy would more than triple to 200 GW, the paper showed.

As CNBC pointed out, both Germany and Japan have recently reclassified nuclear power as "clean" energy, opening the door to potentially trillions of dollars in ESG-driven investment.

German Finance Minister Christian Lindner has described renewable electricity as "the energy of freedom". And it becomes increasingly attractive for every dollar increase in the price.


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