Germany: Beyond nuclear in 2022
30 May 2011
“Nuclear power has only 10 years to live,” says Süddeutche Zeitung, following the publication of a report by the "Ethics Commission on Safe Energy Supply" set up by Chancellor Angela Merkel after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima, Japan. The report, which establishes the foundations for a new German energy policy and which was immediately approved by the ruling coalition, recommends the shut-down of most of the country’s nuclear power plants before 2022 while one should be maintained to plug any gaps in energy needs not met by other energy sources. The seven oldest plants – disconnected from the grid, shortly after the Fukushima accident – should be the first to be closed. No set timetable is set but the shut-downs should adapt to progress and developments in renewable energy. Currently, nuclear energy accounts for 22% of Germany’s energy production. The Munich daily has double praise for the commission. First “it organised an impartial discussion on nuclear energy, something never seen before. And secondly it aimed much further than a simple exit from nuclear power. Because it is not by simply giving up nuclear energy that this country will find happiness,” the paper says.