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Cost of nuke phase-out 'could near €2 trillion'

The Local · 18 Jan 2012, 07:05

Published: 18 Jan 2012 07:05 GMT+01:00

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“This will either be paid by energy customers or taxpayers,” the Siemens board member in charge of energy issues Michael Süß told the Reuters news service, estimating costs of about €1.7 trillion. “As an industry, Germany has always reached it goals. Now the whole world is looking at us. If the energy shift should fail ... it would undermine Germany's credibility as an industry nation.”

Reuters news agency said the estimate was based on the costs of expanding renewable energy sources. Costs could be reduced if Germans relied more on gas, Süß said.

Siemens built all of Germany’s 17 nuclear plants and offered technical support until the German government announced last spring it would begin phasing out nuclear energy in the wake of the Japanese Fukushima earthquake and tsunami disaster, with a shut down largely complete by 2022.

Jürgen R. Großmann, head of German energy provider RWE, has previously estimated phase-out costs of up to €300 billion. State-owned investment bank KfW has estimated costs of about €250 billion over the next ten years.

While green campaigners have hailed the end of German nuclear energy, industry leaders have repeatedly warned that the country’s power grid would be put at risk in future years.

Story continues below…

The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:35 January 18, 2012 by trevzns
Nuclear power phase-out, good news for the environment.
10:43 January 18, 2012 by pepsionice
As quick as Germans reacted to Fukushima.....you'd think that some idiot would start to talk up the radiation threat from cellphones and have the German gov't outlaw all cellphones by 2015.
10:46 January 18, 2012 by thintow
Phew. Now Germany will be nuclear free!

Except for the nuclear power they will have to buy from France that is...
11:52 January 18, 2012 by Dave N
So when exactly are the idiots expecting the earthquake and tsunami to hit Germany?
12:09 January 18, 2012 by raandy
The decision was rash and not well thought out , Angela Merkel first extended the deadline on the older plants than completely reversed herself in a political move to shore up support for the CDU all the time using the diaster in Japan for political gain.

An impact study and a feasibility analysis first for securing much needed power would have been a better move towards phasing out the nuclear plants than full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.
12:16 January 18, 2012 by Simon_Kellett
Standard Question: all nuclear plants have to be decommissioned one day at either the consumers or tax payers expense. Is the number quoted above the decommissioning cost, or the difference between early and late decommissioning?
12:54 January 18, 2012 by mos101392
The logical thing to do is wait until the renewables equals or exceeds the output of each reactor. Then close each one down...one at a time!
15:28 January 18, 2012 by derExDeutsche
how could Germany redistribute its wealth if it were energy independent? Energy independence is not the goal here. As the new gas pipeline from Russia, and buying Nuke energy from its neighbors suggests.
19:19 January 18, 2012 by carlm
The kommies couldn't care less what it costs, nor who gets hurt in their quest to ruin our prosperous and civilized society. It's all for a good cause, environmentalism. Until it effects them, then they scream bloody murder.
02:07 January 19, 2012 by rfwilson
@ trevzns

"Nuclear power phase-out, good news for the environment. "

Oh yeah, sure it will! Just where do you think all that power will come from when those nuclear power plants are shut down, or maybe you just don't think that far ahead.

Hint.... oil and coal burning power plants will replace the missing nukes! Won't THAT be just great news for the environment!
10:59 January 19, 2012 by ChrisRea
So the company that would benefit the most from keeping the nuclear reactors running comes up with a figure almost ten times bigger than the ones from the industry pundits. I think we need here a tad more than just a pinch of salt.
17:02 January 19, 2012 by storymann
Germany will be heavily reliant on fossil fuels to replace it's nuclear power generating plants.

I believe they are not shutting all the facilities down at once, they are starting with the oldest.

Gazprom will most likely be the major source of energy as Germany and Russia have negotiated a delivery and supply plan.

Germany has to build 5 GW plants using natural gas in addition to the 11 GW coal fired plants presently under construction.This will only supply about 45% of the loss of power from Nuke plants by 2020.

At present they do not have the ability to replace the loss of power,using biomass will only supply about 7% more still leaving a 35% shortage from present energy production.

Were this additional power is gong to come from is a mystery.
21:36 January 19, 2012 by AirForceGuy
Once all the powerplants are phased out and Germany is dependent on external sources of energy, those suppliers of that energy will be able to charge whatever they wish with no internal competition and the prices will skyrocket. Energy extortion!
18:43 January 20, 2012 by surprisetrustfall
Atom Kraft? Ja, Bitte!! All those tree-hugging, nature-loving hippies who think getting rid of the nuclear power plants are misguided fools. Firstly, as other have touched in the comments, with the nuclear energy out, what will replace it? Durrrr.... coal and LNG - solar and wind farms will not popup over night and oh yeah, we're going to need crude oil to make the composites for the overwhelming amount of turbines that it will take to recoup the loss of nuclear energy. Secondly, there are nuclear plants that are able to take the waste product and use the plutonium as a power source to recycle power, of course there will need to be more security and oversight, but we're talking about saving money in the future.

@ ChrisRea: Good point. Siemens has a lot to lose with this, but that just means Germany should open the market for other companies to build power plants and opening up the market. This in turn will create more jobs and boost the economy.
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