Coal key to German nuclear phase out

Coal key to German nuclear phase out

Germany will need to retain half of its coal-fired power generation through to 2030 as a result of the planned closure of its nuclear reactors, German Economy and Energy Minister Peter Altmaier has said.

Following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany ordered the immediate shutdown of eight of its seventeen reactors and plans to phase out nuclear completely from its energy mix by 2022.

In order to achieve this goal, Europe’s largest economy will have to retain at least half of its coal-fired power capacity and potentially extend its coal phase out deadline.

“No other country getting out of coal is also getting out of nuclear power,” said the minister.

Altmaier added: “The ending of nuclear and the phasing-out of coal should not overwhelm each other.”

Coal currently provides around 35% of the country’s power generation and has been given a 2038 deadline for its phase out, which is set to cost taxpayers billions of Euros each year.

Meanwhile, Germany’s manufacturing industry – key to the German economy – has raised concerns with regards to an “overly hasty” coal exit, stating that energy intensive industries need to remain competitive.

Altmaier has since said that he did not want to import cheap nuclear from other countries to compensate for the country’s coal phase out.

“We want energy security to be provided at all times,” the minister told broadcaster ZDF, but added: “We do not want to import cheap nuclear power from other countries.”

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