German Energy Policy – Consequences Nationally and for Europe
Kristina Haraldsson, Manager Energy Systems Analysis, ÅF.
- Catrin Draschil. Head of Strategic Analysis Unit, Vattenfall.
- Patrick Schneckenburger, Head of Strategy and Analysis, E.On Nordic.
- Dr. Felix Christian Matthes, Research Coordinator Energy- and Climate policy, Öko Institut e.V.
In the wake of the Japanese earthquake and following tsunami that destroyed several nuclear facilities in Fukushima on March 11, 2011, Germany ended a long debate on the role of nuclear power in the country by deciding on the decommissioning of all nuclear power plants by 2022.
Before the preliminary shutdown of seven of the nuclear power plants in March 2011, Germany got 24 percent of its electricity from nuclear power. The government, with prime minister Angela Merkel, stated that Germany "[does not] only want to renounce nuclear energy by 2022, we also want to reduce our CO2 emissions by 40 percent and double our share of renewable energies, from about 17 percent today to then 35 percent".
The German political agreement to decommission nuclear power is fuelling a lively debate on the consequences, both nationally and for Europe. Some claim that this decision will give Germany a head start in the development of renewables, where they are already strong. Environmentalists therefore want Sweden to follow the German example. Others argue that the decision will lead Germany into prolonged dependence on fossil fuels hindering the process of fighting climate change. This would also lead to increased reliance on imported natural gas, particularly from Russia. The NOG seminar will discuss the different possible outcomes of the rapid change in German energy policy and the impact on industry, consumers and the environment, in Germany as well as in neighboring European countries.