Germany begins powering down its last three nuclear plants

Germany is going to shut down its 3 remaining nuclear power plants- Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim 2 all of which are set to go offline soon.

Nuclear energy is an emotional issue for Germany which is both opinionated and biased regarding the uses of nuclear energy. And more so now as Europe is at the gates of war again.

It was Angela Merkel’s government that decided to phase out atomic power after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan. Her decision was popular with voters, coming on the back of widespread anti-nuclear sentiment sparked by the catastrophe.

According to the Federal Statistical Office, Germany got almost half of its electricity from renewables — 44 percent in 2022 and just 6 percent from atomic power. Green economy minister Robert Habeck predicts that 80 percent of Germany’s electricity will be renewable by 2030 and has pushed through laws to make it quicker and easier to build solar and wind farms.

But over the last year, the proportion of renewables has stagnated while CO2 emissions have increased, as Germany has been forced to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) and use more coal instead of Russian gas. This has sparked even some Green voters and anti-nuclear activists to support temporarily extending the lifespan of the last three nuclear power stations. It is yet to be seen what will be the poll outcome in light of this decision.