As the hysteria reaches new levels and the anti-atomic power groups are ever more adamant about a nuclear-free Germany, Angela Merkel has been pressured to announce that some of Germany’s nuclear power plants will be closed. That’s probably good news for the gas industry, and for Germany’s neighbours.
But right now, Germany does not have the gas capacity to step in and take up the slack, and so expect the country to put its gas development on the fast-track, and to import.
The construction of coal power plants faces massive resistance here, and so that too is also out of the picture. So where will Germany get its power when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow?
By abandoning coal and nuclear, Germany may succeed in isolating itself when it comes to energy. Either it will have to become dependent on its neighbors, or its population will be expected to behave like energy misers and to fret over every milliwatt that gets used.
Some of Germany’s electric power will be generated by natural gas. And the rest? Not to worry. Germany has got plenty of neighbors around who are less prone to atomic hysteria and who will be willing to sell power – for a price. Plenty of new atomic power capacity is being planned just to the east (see World Nuclear Association). And everywhere else around the world, atomic power plants are being constructed, planned or proposed.
Reactors now under construction
According to the World Nuclear Association, 62 reactors are currently under construction.
China: 27 reactors
Many more reactors are being planned – 158 in total. When one looks at the chart, Germany columns are filled with goose eggs.
China: 50 reactors
And many more are being proposed: 324 reactors in all.
China: 110 reactors
Plenty of Germany’s neighbors are positioning to take over the job of producing electricity. If Germany should find it’s too expensive to produce electricity with sun and wind, or it’s too difficult to get a steady supply, then it will have to call Italy, Ukraine, Poland or Russia for help.
UPDATE (IN GERMAN) on Fukushima: