Handing out enormous long-term subsidies to solar farms was unwise; abolishing nuclear power so quickly is crazy. The price of globally traded hard coal has dropped in the past few years, partly because shale-gas-rich America is exporting so much.
But Germany’s biggest error is one commonly committed by countries that are trying to move away from fossil fuels and towards renewables.
When Germany was reunited in 1990, all the Soviet-designed reactors in the east were shut down for safety reasons and are being decommissioned.A Christian Democrat (CDU) federal government then maintained support for existing nuclear power generation nationally until defeated in 1998.In October 1998 a coalition government was formed between the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and the Green Party, the latter having polled only 6.7% of the vote.ON, which owned or had a stake in 12 of the country's 19 nuclear reactors which were operating then. ON spun off Uniper, which was to take over all its nuclear assets in 2016, but in the event left German nuclear plants with E. The first decommissioning licences were granted early in 2017. ON’s “power generation in and outside Europe and global energy trading,” but “E.Brunsbüttel and Krümmel were shut down in 2007, and not restarted, apart from a few weeks for Krümmel in 2009. ON has equity in the following nuclear plants which from January 2016 will be managed by its subsidiary Preussen Elektra: Isar 1 100%, Unterweser 100%, Krümmel 50%, Brunsbüttel 33.3% (all shut down), Grafenrheinfeld 100%, Gundremmingen B&C 25%, Grohnde 83.3%, Brokdorf 80%, Isar 2 75%, Emsland 12.5%. ON will retain responsibility for the remaining operation and dismantling of its nuclear generating capacity in Germany and not transfer it to Uniper” as originally envisaged.
Only dates kosten
Of this, coal provided 282 TWh (43%, more than half being lignite), nuclear 92 TWh (14%), gas 61 TWh, biofuels & waste 58 TWh, wind 88 TWh, solar 38 TWh, hydro 25 TWh (IEA figures).Electricity exports exceeded imports by about 48 TWh, but Germany is one of the biggest importers of gas, coal and oil worldwide, and has few domestic resources apart from lignite and renewables (but see later section). Gross consumption was 576 TWh in 2014, substantially below the peak 641 TWh in 2009.It has written off SEK 10.2 billion (€1.2 billion) on Brunsbüttel and Krümmel, and has applied to decommission both units. En BW has equity in the following nuclear plants: Neckarwestheim 100%, Phillipsburg 100%, and it has applied to decommission both units. The Federal Ministry of Economics & Technology (BMWi) implements national energy policy.Generating capacity at the end of 2014 was 198 GWe comprising 12.1 GWe nuclear, 11 GWe hydro, 39 GWe wind (0.6 GWe offshore), 38 GWe solar, and 97 GWe combustible fuels (IEA figures).
Earlier in the year this comprised: 28.2 GWe gas, 21.2 GWe lignite, 26.3 GWe hard coal and 5.6 GWe biomass, according to the Fraunhofer Institute.The preponderance of coal makes the country Europe’s biggest emitter of carbon.The 2016 increase in renewables generation was the smallest since 2009.German support for nuclear energy was very strong in the 1970s following the oil price shock of 1974, and as in France, there was a perception of vulnerability regarding energy supplies.However, this policy faltered after the Chernobyl accident in 1986, and the last new nuclear power plant was commissioned in 1989.