There was a spirited panel discussion by newspaper editors on a German TV channel in my hotel on Sunday night. (Parties in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition government agreed on Monday May 30 that Germany will target 2022 to have all their nuclear power plants shut down). The text on the TV program picture says ‘Remaining Risks of Nuclear Exit : Too Quick? Too Soon? Inconsequential?’ My German was far too poor to follow the discussion, but it prompted me to find out more about the debate.
What I found out so far : 1. The majority of Germans do not want nuclear power, it’s a very political issue. 2. Germany gets about 25% of its energy from nuclear power (the chart says 29% because it is a little outdated), about the same percentage as the USA. 3. The government will lose about €1 billion ($1.44 billion) in tax revenues every year. 4. Someone will have to pay for the new sources of energy – who? The utility companies? (They are planning to take legal action against the government) The consumer?
Finally – the chart shows the Netherlands get only 4% of their power from nuclear sources (and look at the French). They get most of their energy from gas and coal, but they do have a significant installed capacity of wind power.