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07 Jan 2022, 11:56
Benjamin Wehrmann

Nuclear power no longer an option for Germany, former advocate party FDP says

Clean Energy Wire

Nuclear power is not a sustainable energy generation technology and should play no role in Europe’s decarbonisation plans, the head of Germany’s Free Democrats (FDP), new finance minister Christian Lindner, has said at an annual party convention. Criticising the EU Commission’s push for including nuclear power in its taxonomy for sustainable investments, the leader of the pro-business party that used to be a defender of the technology said that while it could indeed help reduce CO2 emissions, it would still not be an option for achieving Germany’s target of a climate neutral economy. “Where would you find an insurance company that would cover nuclear plants based on market principles?,” Lindner asked, adding that only the state could provide guarantees for their operation. “For a market liberal this is a signal that this cannot be reconciled with regulatory principles,” the FDP leader said. At the same time, Lindner welcomed the EU Commissions proposal to allow investments in natural gas infrastructure in the taxonomy. However, the fossil-based fuel gas could only be a temporary solution and all new infrastructure would have to be “eventually made compatible with hydrogen”.

The FDP in the past has been an advocate of delaying Germany’s nuclear exit after it was originally decided in the year 2000 by a government coalition of the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Green Party. In a later coalition with chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative CDU, the FDP in 2009 helped reverse the phase-out decision, before it was reinstated by the same government after the 2011 Fukushima disaster. The last three nuclear plants in Germany will now be taken offline at the end of this year, with the FDP overseeing the exit in a coalition together with the SPD and the Greens.

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