Major energy scenarios see Germany without nuclear in the future – analysis
Clean Energy Wire
Germany’s future power system will function in a reliable and cost-efficient way if the country sticks to its end-2022 nuclear phase-out date, a meta-analysis of several energy transition scenarios performed by the Renewable Energies Agency (AEE) finds. The authors compared scenarios for the years 2030 and 2045 based on some of the most discussed papers in the current energy transition debate. These include the "Climate Paths 2.0" of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), the lead study "Departure to Climate Neutrality" of the German Energy Agency (dena) and the long-term scenarios of the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). They find that energy transition and emission reduction are feasible without nuclear as none of the above reports questions the 2022 nuclear exit. However, reaching the climate targets hinges on achieving dynamic growth in renewable energy capacity, in particular wind and solar PV.
Germany’s nuclear phase-out was decided originally in the year 2000 and has been almost completed with currently only three plants still in operation. Wanted by a stable majority of the population and not questioned by the governing parties in past decade, only the Russian attack on Ukraine has opened up the discussion if letting nuclear plants run longer could help Germany in times of energy (gas) shortages. However, this option was denied by the federal ministries for climate and environment, which found that practical issues (getting new fuel in time, retaining the necessary staff) were outweighing the benefits for the power system, in particular since nuclear plants do not produce the much needed heat (for district heating networks).