Germany confirms commitment to phase out nuclear energy despite gas crisis
Two governmental ministries have confirmed that Germany still plans to go ahead with the phase-out of nuclear energy, despite ongoing issues with energy imports from Russia in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.
Ministries of Environment and Energy rule out postponing nuclear phaseout
Following the shutdown of three nuclear power stations at the beginning of 2022, Germany’s last three remaining plants are due to be finally powered down at the end of the year. With the war in Ukraine putting the spotlight on Germany’s dependence on Russia for gas, however, some have been calling for the nuclear phase-out to be delayed, to give the federal republic more options for producing energy at home.
However, the German Ministries for the Economy and Environment have both said that an extension was “not advisable even in light of the current gas crisis,” pointing out that such a move would not help bridge the difficult period next winter, when demand will be highest, and would only boost electricity supplies “from autumn 2023 at the soonest.”
The ministries also wrote that the extra electricity produced by the nuclear sites would “barely substitute” the country’s need for gas to heat homes and businesses - and so not worth the mammoth administrative effort required to wave through an extension.
Germany seeking to end reliance on Russian gas
Gas covers around a quarter of Germany’s energy requirements, and more than half of the country’s supply comes via pipelines from Russia.
In a bid to lessen the federal republic’s reliance on the Kremlin, the German government has in recent days unveiled a number of schemes to increase investment in renewable energies and build LNG terminals to import gas from overseas.