You knew Germany is set to shut all of its 18 nuclear power plants by 2022, didn’t you? I also knew that, but as Angela Merkel’s government ordered shutting eight of them this year, it now plans for a long and heavy winter, where the renewable energy resources Germany has are not enough to sustain the grid’s increasing demand.
So, what is the long-term plan? If you shut down nuclear power plants, you’ll have to invest in a cleaner and safer alternative, and that is only represented by renewable energy resources. In the long run, that is.
I suffered a bit of a shock when I learned that, for the moment, Merkel’s government is about to… hold on tight… build coal-fired power plants in addition to relying on wind, solar and geothermal. However, the investment for the renewable energy sector is set out to be of $137.3 billion over the next five years.
That will cost German citizens a few euros more per kilowatt. Since solar power is worth three times the price of coal power, the price increase will be quite something, estimated at 9 percent over the year 2012.
But most of the Germans are OK with that, as a recent survey says. 79 percent of the respondents said the price increase is “reasonable,” while only 15 percent complained. What can I say – Germany affords it.
I’m not against ousting nuclear power if it proves to be unsafe, but my guess is that the country could live with it for a couple of years longer, just like it did during the past few decades, rather than burning coal (for God’s sake). What kind of a greening plan is this? After all, coal mining kills more people every year than nuclear ever did.
Coming from Europe’s biggest consumer of electricity, the news only says a lot of carbon dioxide will be spit out of those plants’ horns, but who knows? Maybe they’ll make it cleaner than nuclear. My common sense doubts that.