Many German leaders have a big beef with Berlin and especially Angela Merkel’s government’s decision, in May, to close all of Germany’s nuclear-power stations by 2022. So ok, what is the plan to replace the power they all ask as the move followed a moratorium initiated by the government in the wake of the nuclear disaster in Japan.
However if we dig deeper it appears the decision was made just before an important regional election that the CDU (Merkel’s party) feared losing. With this, many saw it as an unprincipled U-turn made for self serving purposes rather than on solid ground. As it was as recent as just last autumn that the Berlin based government had agreed to extend the lives of some nuclear-power stations upwards by an average of 12 years.
Yet business leaders who depend on the energy produced by these plants say the new policy was thought up “without true awareness of the consequences”. As it’s here that most business leaders believe that they were not consulted properly on the topic, if at all. However why all the concern over a few nuclear power plants you ask right?
Well some of the more immediate consequences of the new German nuclear policy became apparent on August 9th when RWE, a large energy firm, said the move in policy had cost it some €900m (or about $1.3 billion USD) in just the first six months of 2011. Yet only a day later E.ON, another large power firm serving the German market, noted an “adverse effect” from the policy costing €1.7 billion in the second quarter alone. In addition it reported that it might have to cut up to 11,000 jobs as a result.
While these are the direct [negative] results upon utility industry itself the fact still remains that nuclear generated electricity is still some of the cheapest power there is and moving away from the allure of the atom will have its repercussions. As the giant German chemical company Bayer, announced it was considering moving production out of Germany to other countries where electricity prices have a more certain future.
As this should be a wakeup call for not only Germany, however for the rest of the world, as electricity is the most critical power need of modern man and he needs it cheaply and efficiently. While it’s nice to wax about wind and solar the reality which must be faced is both still lack true commercial viability. Thus [Miss Merkel] would it not make more sense to pour the same investment dollars into improving nuclear energy a known, rather the then just blowing money in to the wind…