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Germany can power itself, environment agency says

The Local · 6 Apr 2011, 09:05

Published: 06 Apr 2011 09:05 GMT+02:00

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On Monday, the German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BDEW) said electricity shortfalls created by the government's suspension were being filled by a jump in imports from neighbouring countries France and the Czech Republic.

The organisation said that electricity flowing from the two countries had doubled, while exports to the Netherlands and Switzerland had been halved, making Germany an overall net importer of electricity.

But the UBA rejected these claims on Wednesday, saying Germany had been importing electricity for cost reasons rather than out of necessity.

“Germany could completely provide for itself,” UBA energy and climate expert Harry Lehmann said, explaining that energy providers have been motivated by cheaper prices abroad.

In the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis following the devastating earthquake and tsunami more than three weeks ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that the reactors would be closed for three months and the government would conduct a review of nuclear policy and safety over the same period.

Since that decision in mid-March there has been less affordable electricity available within Germany.

“That is normal in a liberalized European electricity market,” Lehmann said. “Apparently French electricity is currently cheaper than that from Germany’s reserve power plants.”

Additionally, construction on gas and coal-fired plants is underway, which would decrease imports when they begin operating in 2013 at the latest, he said.

Story continues below…

Still, Germany must quickly expand its electricity network so that “today more wind power from northern Germany can be transported to southern Germany.”


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:33 April 6, 2011 by auniquecorn
¦quot;Germany could completely provide for itself,¦quot; UBA energy and climate expert Harry Lehmann said, explaining that energy providers have been motivated by cheaper prices abroad.

Well, by all means, lets get back to the more exspensive supply source.

It´s common sense, You can´t Fk your people when you import a cheaper product.
10:43 April 6, 2011 by Sastry.M
If Germans pray and work (Bete und arbeite) under their motto "God with us" (Gott mit uns") the beautiful photograph with windmill churning power from gales of wind and large solar panels providing shade and shelter to animals as well as extracting power for human necessities depicts the respect of people in appreciation of natural power. Considering the fact that animals live with no qualified price tags attached to their natural freedom human beings can also harness the powers of nature with intellect and wisdom endowed by Nature and get thrice blessed by preserving the harmony of God's Creation. Germany can do it as she did in the past during periods under extreme privation.
11:12 April 6, 2011 by Clapoti
"Additionally, construction on gas and coal-fired plants is underway"

Am I the only that think it's just wrong to build new coal plants??? They should try to improve the safety of nuclear plants which are much more environmentally friendly than coal plants.
11:19 April 6, 2011 by auniquecorn

They should try to improve the safety of nuclear plants which are much more environmentally friendly than coal plants.

Until those 2 universal words comes out of the operators mouths

OH, Sh!t
12:20 April 6, 2011 by trash head
> They should try to improve the safety of nuclear plants which are much more environmentally friendly than coal plants.

And where do you store the radiated trash of nuke plants - safe for the next 30k years?
13:00 April 6, 2011 by ron1amr
The photo in this article is misleading when you consider the proposal of new coal and gas power plants. How many world leaders consider the well being of human kind? Shutting down nuclear plants becomes a price burden when you consider the safety costs in the incidence of a catastrophe. Even with electric power plants, there is a lot of energy lost on the transport over kilometres in power lines. This is evident when you read high radiation levels from high voltage power cables. I still believe in many smaller renewable power outlets although people may see it as eye pollution from having many solar or wind power, The sound of wind on their own wind turbine will be like music to their ears when they see their non electric bill. Having every construction self sufficient. This does not come into the equation and never mentioned because of Governments need to make money from taxes on big companies be it Coal, gas, wind solar nuclear. But I cant see a reason why they can't start looking at things on a much smaller scale instead of concentrating on everyone being dependant on a power grid. Its all about money and so my friends the benefit of human kind is non existent.
17:03 April 6, 2011 by cheeba
The reason the French power is so much cheaper is because they produce more power from nuclear than any other country on earth! Oil is expensive these days.

The irony is that Gremany will probably now shut down all of its nuclear plants sooner than later and the French will make big money exporting nuclear generated energy to Germany from plants located right on the German border in places like Callenom and Fessenheim.

If there is ever an accident in the French plants Germany will suffer just as much and if the wind is blowing east, even more than the French themselves.
17:13 April 6, 2011 by whpmgr
OK, aUniquecorn: Nuclear Energy is a must - for now, and you are right again. Safety can be built in. We have been using Nuclear energy for over half of a century now and you can count the disasters on one hand. The air is cleaner, the world is less mined, and Wind and solar power do not work well enough to be feasible.

Sastry M.: My GOD. Where are you from? Lets all take a step back to the 12th century, get rid of energy all together and destroy the forests making coal. Let pollute the air, lets do what we can so we can learn from teh dumb animals on teh planet- you know the ones we hunt and eat...oh you probably don't . Are you a vegan or is it vegen? I would bet anything you are a liberal socialist too (while I am name calling).

Let's get one thing underway: Making fusion and Hydrogen fuel feasible and affordible. They resolve our problems, and produce water as a by product. Clean, safe, and productive. It is almost there, lets get it the rest of the way.

Last thing, teh moon isnt being used for anything, why not store the Nuke waste there? These doesn't seem to be a down side in it, does there? By doing this we can perfect our space transport, and clean up the rivers and other natural places Sastry seems to be so worried about with little ecological cost to earth.
18:35 April 6, 2011 by Wobinidan
I agree that nuclear waste is a bit of a problem, and that older plants should eventually be closed down. But even this Japanese crisis was only brought about by a 9.0 magnitude quake AND a tsunami, neither of which has any chance of happening in Germany. If anything, this nuclear crisis in Japan has made me change my mind about the safety and sanity of nuclear power.

It's the hysterical and illogical reaction of many people in this country that is going to make electricity more expensive AND create more radioactive pollution from coal power plants. Very annoying indeed.
18:45 April 6, 2011 by krautrock
"construction on gas and coal-fired plants is underway, which would decrease imports when they begin operating in 2013 at the latest,"

OK, at least they are getting real. With gas and coal you can provide a reliable quantity of energy for the nation needs.

With sun and wind this won't be possible, whatever the Greens say.
01:54 April 7, 2011 by rfwilson

Hydrogen fuel??? Hydrogen is NOT a fuel. It is simply an energy storage medium. You have to make it (using either very inefficient electrolysis, or CO2 emitting reformation of Methane). Making it takes energy that has to come from either coal or nuclear power plants, or from natural gas.

This is a solution???
15:05 April 7, 2011 by whpmgr
rfwilson: Ford Auto and an inventor here in the US of A are working on a solar system that will "Crack" the hydrogen and do it in an economic fashion. The key problem with Hydrogen fuel is getting the hydrogen in an economic fashion, and that is being worked on. There are several people in the US working on that very thing. My understanding, and I had a business connection working on this befor ethe market disaster that took a great deal of money from us in the form of venture capital in 2008, is that we are almost there. But if youthink, use Solar power to do many small units, you could have enough hydrogen to power a car for each week and produce it at home in less than 1 Cubic Meter's space and at a cost comparable to $3 a gallon of gas. If that is possible, is it worth the cost and effort?

The major problem is the egg or chicken analogy: if you don't have cars or systems using Hydrogen fuel, why would you spend money making an economical production of the gas. But, if you don't ahve anyone that would use it, why would you spend money producing it? You get what I am trying to say? this is where Government investment could jump start the process. If the Government made a sector of their vehicles use hydrogen, and then inspire an entrepeneur to invent a process to produce the hydrogen cheaply, you would jump start a new industry and would start the next growth segment for pennies. Instead of taking money to support welfare programs, if the givernment will spend money to seed an industry we all benefit. Then the Arabs would be at our mercy since the lack water, we could seel them a product...
17:12 April 8, 2011 by Sastry.M
@whpmgr--Vide#8- I appreciate your practical arguments and your kind note of my concerns. I am a strict veg.food Indian and a great admirer of western tscientific achievements.Among all pioneers in both theoretical and technological developments of Nuclear science, the Germans were early fore runners with many Nobel prize winners- Max Planck, Max Born,James Frank,Werner Heisenberg,Gustav Herz to quote a few not to speak of the all encompassing genius Albert Einstein. Although great theoreticians and practical physicists they were more inclined to peaceful applications rather than determined financiers in forging detonating bomb applications as the secret reconnaissance mission under Dr.Goudsmit on German projects revealed.

In my opinion the Germans appear to be not too confident in nuclear power usage although helpful in power generation cleanly. It is the disposal of waste safely which presents greater risks than support to present day needs. Even if we succeed in methods for dumping the nuclear waste on the moon a repeated such process in course of time may attain an order of magnitude to turn the lovers' moonlight infested with scorching crabs.
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