24 Nov 2021, 12:15
Jessica Bateman

German nuclear power shutdown will not lead to power shortages – report

Clean Energy Wire

The shutdown of Germany’s last remaining nuclear power plants will not cause supply shortages, according to calculations by the department of energy, transport and environment at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin). Researchers used modelling methods to see how the decommissioning of nuclear power plants Brokdorf, Grohnde and Gundremmingen C (which will be taken off the grid at the end of this year) and Neckarwestheim 2, Isar 2 and Emsland (which will be shut down in late 2022) will affect power flows and energy mix in Germany. They found the decline in nuclear power will temporarily lead to a higher use of fossil fuels and imports, but that this should be quickly reduced by the accelerated expansion of renewable energies. In order to keep grid operation stable, congestion management will also need to be slightly adjusted. "The lights will not go out in Germany," study author Claudia Kemfert said in a press release. "On the contrary: the shutdown paves the way for the overdue expansion of renewable energies. Nuclear energy was uneconomical from the start and characterised by incalculable risks."

Plans to phase out nuclear energy in Germany were re-established in 2011. The decision has been criticised over concerns it may lead to temporary over-reliance on imported energy while the country exits coal at the same time.

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