Germany faced with winter power shortage

The German government is making slow progress in its search for energy sources to replace nuclear power, media reports say. Energy companies are warning there could be shortages in the winter.

Germany faced with winter power shortage
Photo: DPA

Germany’s recent decision to go nuclear-free means that eight nuclear power stations have already been taken off the grid permanently. Now companies are casting around for alternative sources.

But according to financial magazine Wirtschaftswoche, energy providers have told the Economics Ministry their reserve power plants can only provide 500 megawatts of power before the autumn sets in, leaving a shortage of another 500 megawatts.

Other reserve power plants cannot be operated profitably or will need a preparation time of between one and three years before they can be fully operational, the energy companies have warned.

The companies are therefore arguing that one of the defunct nuclear reactors be kept operational in reserve in case of shortages later this year.

The opposition Green party, meanwhile, argues that bio-fuel power plants that were shut down should be reactivated instead.

Following a Green party request, the German Environment Ministry revealed that hundreds of such plants are currently lying dormant in Germany.

The Green party claims that these plants are not being used because plant oil is currently too expensive. The environmentalist party is therefore calling for a change in the law that would allow these plants to be driven with diesel or natural gas in the event of a power shortage.


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