The Czech Republic’s nuclear power plant in Temelin


Der Spiegel suggests there is a bit of hypocrisy in Germany’s announcement that it is abandoning nuclear power because of Fukushima.  It is not.  At least in the short to medium term.  Instead it is replacing home grown nuclear power with imports from the Czech Republic and France.   Der Spiegel calls this “greenwashing” the German public.

…when Germany took some of its nuclear power plants offline this spring, the Czech nuclear industry went into the export business. These days, it’s sending roughly 1.2 gigawatt-hours of electricity across the border every day… [Germany] has gone from being an energy exporter to an energy importer practically overnight, which brings along with it a number of negative consequences for its economy, consumers and security…

Those benefiting the most from Germany’s move to abandon nuclear energy are power plant operators in neighboring countries.

Germany’s economic growth has been anemic since the government announced it was shutting down its nuclear plants and the Federal Statistical Office believes the nuclear phase-out is a major cause. “Electricity has increasingly had to be imported in order to satisfy demand,” it says.  This was echoed by OECD chief economist Pier Carlo Padoan who said last week that one of the causes of Germany’s projected downturn will have been the “uncertain consequences of the nuclear phase-out.”

Germany electricity prices are expected to rise substantially in 2012.

…most consumers have yet to notice anything in the way of price increases. That unpleasant surprise won’t come until the next fiscal year, when one leading executive in the energy industry predicts most households can expect to pay significantly more than they have been due to higher fees.



While Germany proclaims now to be “anti-nuclear” that has not stopped the German government from financing the construction of nuclear reactors in other countries.  Recently the Germans quietly extended a €1.3- billion export credit guarantee to Brazil for the construction of a nuclear power station in a mountainous coastal region prone to landslides.   Germany abandoned its nuclear program because of a fear of earthquakes like the one the hit Fukushima earlier this year. (The Local Germany, Germany to guarantee Brazilian nuclear plans)





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1 Comment on German ‘Energy Revolution’ Depends on Nuclear Imports

  1. Elroy Jetson says:

    This is sadly analogous to California banning the production of cement powder because of the high levels of CO2 created in the process. Their cement is now produced in Utah and Nevada and anywhere with looser standards. It’s all just part of the Big Green Lie. There’s no free lunch, and there’s no free power either.