Monday , 22 April 2024
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Global Economy

"Our energy supply is secure"

Economics Minister Robert Habeck has resolutely countered concerns that there could be power shortages in Germany in winter. "The German energy supply is secure, we have enough energy and our grid is also secure," he emphasized in an interview with the daily topics.

The decision to no longer allow the German nuclear power plants to run regularly, but to keep two in reserve, is an important safeguard against bottlenecks. Because the scenarios that the network operators ran through in their stress test are potential scenarios that can occur – critical situations are unlikely. Nevertheless, the government decided to keep the Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim 2 nuclear power plants. "We play it safe and very precisely." If the scenarios played out in the stress test do not occur, "then we will end the life of the nuclear power plants as planned".

"A high-risk technology"

At the same time, he emphasized that nuclear power is a high-risk technology. In addition, it is not reliable, as the example of France shows. Only about half of the nuclear power plants there can currently produce electricity, partly because they have to be maintained or because of the drought and the heat. "The main problem at the moment is the climate vulnerability of nuclear power in France," said Habeck. The Rhône is too warm and its water level too low to cool the nuclear power plants to the extent necessary. "Presenting nuclear power as a solution is factually and technically wrong."

That's why you don't want to let the nuclear power plants continue to run unconditionally for several years, as the coalition partner FDP demands. In addition, even if all three nuclear power plants were not shut down by the end of the year, Germany would not be able to fully compensate for the loss of large amounts of electricity from abroad, but only reduce it.

Operation beyond this winter also makes no sense. Because from next year, Germany can build on significantly more gas deliveries beyond Russia, for example via liquid gas terminals on the North and Baltic Seas. The risk of supply bottlenecks is correspondingly smaller. In addition, there was an extremely dry summer, which made it more expensive or even prevented the transport of coal via the Rhine to power plants. However, this problem could be solved with better planning: "It is simply wrong to equate the winter of 2022/2023 with that of 2023/2024, since we will have a completely different energy policy situation."

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