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How will Germany’s Nuclear Plants Extension Affect Green Energy Growth

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Germany is planning to extend the life of the nuclear reactors that are supposed to close in 2022 by an average of 12 years.Note extension will results in windfall profits for Germany Big 4  utilities which will be offset by Euro 2.3 Billion in Taxes for the next 6 years and a commitment for funding of Renewable Energy.Note these taxes had led to large howls of protests from the Utility Lobby. However the German Coalition led by Merkel has agreed on this plan of action and is planning to bypass the Upper House of Parliament to get this resolution passed.Note the earlier SPD and Green Coalition had passed the measure to shut all the Nuclear Plants in 2022 and this may again come about if the Green and SPD come to power negating all the political games going on currently.The implications for the Non-Nuclear Renewable Energy Sector is negative on the whole and listed out below

1) 20% of Germany’s Energy Supply comes for Nuclear Sources which would have to be filled by Non-Nuclear Renewable Energy by 2022.Extension would mean that a Huge Area of Future Demand has been wiped out dealing a big blow.

2) The 700 Million Euros that is Proposed to Fund Renewable Energy from the Profits from Extension of Reactors is Small Change and would Barely add 350-400 MW of Wind Energy or Just 150-200 MW of Solar Energy.

3) Investment into Futuristic Sources of Green Energy like Offshore Wind will nosedive as low future prices of electricity discourage expensive forms of Green Energy

4) It will have global repercussions as Germany is the No.1 Leader in Solar Energy and amongst the Top 5 Producers of Wind Energy in the World.With Germany putting off investments into Green Energy in favor of Nuclear Energy,it means that other countries might rethink their strategy as well.Recently Malaysia had enacted a Feed in Tariff Program based on German Success.

Note the Non-Nuclear Renewable Energy Industry and Green NGOs have protested against their Merkel move.The German  Solar Industry which has boomed in 2010 despite sharp FIT cuts will be dealt a double blow in 2011 which will see another round of high double digit cuts.Wind Energy particularly Offshore Wind is in the takeoff State and might see a sharp slowdown as utilities become reluctant.All in all,the German Nuclear Plant Extension Move is a Big Body Blow for Non-Nuclear Renewable Energy

German Nuclear Power Extension Threatens Offshore Wind Funding – Bloomberg

The German government’s plan to extend the phase-out of nuclear power risks hampering investment in offshore wind turbines, a technology that may provide much of the country’s renewable energy by the middle of this century.Under Chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan, an extra 12 years of nuclear power beyond a legally-mandated phase-out by 2022 will help the nation of 82 million make a transition to renewable power at an affordable price. The final plan on the nuclear extension will be presented to Merkel’s cabinet on Sept. 28.

The focus of the government’s plans now is on support for the offshore wind industry, said Environment Minister Norbert Roettgen. The proposals sidestepped questions about Germany’s solar industry, which accounted for more than half of world demand for photovoltaic panels in the first half of this year.Germany’s largest utilities are focusing on wind power as their preferred renewable energy technology, while households and farmers are tapping solar energy to earn above-market rates for electric power.Yesterday’s decision “puts the brakes” on investment worth billions of euros and “cements the baseload-oriented oligopoly” tilted toward nuclear power and fossil fuels, Albers said.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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