Energy shortages may force Germany to rely on nuclear power in order to have enough heat to get through winter.
- In order to avoid blackouts this winter, Germany may turn to nuclear power to make up for shortages.
- Following pressure to retain Germany’s three remaining nuclear power plants, Chancellor Olaf Scholtz’s ruling coalition decided earlier this month to preserve two of the power plants at least beyond this year.
- The decision to keep German power is in part a result of ongoing issues with a French nuclear reactor which normally exports energy to Germany.
- German power prices for next year fell after the announcement.
Why it’s news
Germany has been facing a potential energy shortage for months, creating growing concerns about how German citizens will heat their homes during winter. Now that winter is closing in, the potential crisis is imminent.
Two of Germany’s three power plants were given an extension after the government commissioned a “stress test” of German energy. The extension will last until mid-April 2023.
Economy Minister Robert Habeck was seemingly reluctant to keep the plants online, though Finance Minister Chrsitian Lindner is still calling for all three plants to be kept online.
Even though two of the plants are expected to stay online for a little while longer, one of the plants will require a complete shutdown for a repair.
Isar-2 is in need of a valve replacement, a repair that needs to be completed in the next month.
Backing up a bit
Germany’s three remaining nuclear power plants were scheduled to be shut down by the end of this year. Before beginning the process of closing power plants, Germany had 17 total.
Despite this plan being in the works for a decade, Germany’s government is now debating whether to extend the shutdown to stave off a potential energy crisis this winter.
Many German homes rely on gas to provide heat. With winter quickly approaching, German officials are considering whether to push back the power plant shutdowns by a few months in order to have enough energy to make it through the winter, reports Politico.
In 2011, before Germany began shutting down the power plants, the plants produced 23% of the country’s electricity. As of 2021, Germany’s nuclear power plants still produced 12% of the country’s energy.
Though Germany has historically been anti-nuclear, new polling indicates that more Germans are in favor of extending the shutdown deadline. Around 70% of Germans are in favor of keeping the power plants online longer, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Germany’s energy concerns are in large part caused by strained relations with Russia. Following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, many countries placed sanctions on Russia. In response, Russia has restricted access to fuel through the Nord Stream 1 pipeline.