In the media: Bavaria doesn't want its share of nuclear waste
“German govt clashes with Bavaria over nuclear storage site plan”
The German government has put forth a plan for storing nuclear waste that has been processed and stored in France and the UK, Markus Wacket and Michael Nienaber write for Reuters. The plan is to house 26 containers of nuclear waste across four different German states, but it has drawn criticism from Bavaria, which is slated to take some of the containers. Environment minister Barbara Hendricks has proposed storage facilities in Schleswig-Holstein, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Hesse and Bavaria. Hendricks criticised Bavaria, saying that it had produced a considerable amount of nuclear waste over the years and needed to take responsibility for it. Germany’s major utilities welcomed the plans.
See the Environment Ministry's statement and nuclear waste container concept here.
Read the Reuters article in English here.
“You take the waste”
By calling it an “impudent” idea to store 9 of 26 nuclear waste containers in Bavaria, the Bavarian government shows “ruthless individualism,” writes Michael Bauchmüller in an op-ed for the Süddeutsche Zeitung. For some time, the state has adopted an attitude whereby it dumps everything on its neighbours that it doesn’t want to have at home – including new power lines, wind turbines and now nuclear waste. Bavaria's nuclear power stations have produced a very large amount of nuclear waste compared to others, but the government in Munich would like to see it stored in other federal states, Bauchmüller writes.
“The energy transition of the small ones”
The energytransition (Energiewende) has triggered massive insvestment by municipal utilities, writes Axel Höppner in the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The Stadtwerke Munich has for example invested three billion euros into renewable energies in recent years, and is planning on investing up to 9 billion euros in total, the author writes. Municipal utilities in Bonn and Frankfurt also own shares in offshore wind farms and biomass plants. While investment risks in the sector are big and according to consultancy PwC one fifth of small utilities have reached critical debt-levels, “if we had put our bets on conventional power stations instead of on renewables, we would now face entirely different problems,” Stadtwerke Munich CEO Florian Bieberbach told the paper.
See a CLEW dossier on utilities in the energy transition here.
Wirtschaftwoche / dpa
“Nuclear power plant Grafenrheinfeld is shutting down”
When the nuclear power station at Grafenrheinfeld (Bavaria) shuts down next weekend, the state’s power supply will remain secure, Bavaria’s economy minister Ilse Aigner told news agency dpa. The missing power from Grafenrheinfeld (which produces about one sixth of Bavarian power) would be compensated by renewable energies and conventional power plants in Germany and Europe. “This is a good occasion for talking positively about the Energiewende,” Aigner said. But the Bavarian business association says expanding the power grid is necessary to ensure a stable power supply without increasing imports.
Read the article in German here.
“’Green superpower’ Germany plots the way to a low-carbon world, closing Grafenrheinfeld nuclear power plant”
While Australia aims this week for passage of a bill to cut CO2 emissions, Germany is gearing up to close its first nuclear power plant, Peter Hannam, who is the Environment Editor at The Sydney Morning Herald, writes in the brisbanetimes.com. Despite the fact that Germany is closing the near zero-carbon plant, it simultaneously aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions significantly by 2020, he writes. Hannam explains the political processes in Germany that have led to current legislation and the ongoing debates about the Energiewende.
Read the article in English here.
Survey – Most economists believe Energiewende is opportunity rather than threat
A majority of German economists does not believe the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy undermines export prowess, according to a survey among more than 1000 economists published in Süddeutsche Zeitung. Asked whether the Energiewende threatened German competitiveness, almost 54 percent of respondents most agreed with the statement “No, the energy transition is also a chance.” 18 percent of economists believed the Energiewende was a threat, and another 23 percent that it threatened only some parts of the economy.
Find the results of the survey in German here.