Energy  |  Publications  |  23.03.2012

Myths and Facts: The German Switch from Nuclear to Renewables

Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear power after Fukushima has been painted by some international observers as “environmental vandalism” and a “panicked overreaction." This report by Craig Morris for the North America office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation looks at the various "myths" and reactions associated to this decision.

Critics of the phase out argue that the shutdown of nuclear power would lead to higher energy costs, rising greenhouse gas emissions and a shortage of power supply. But today, a year after the German government forced the shutdown of eight nuclear reactors, renewable energies provide more than a fifth of electricity demand in Germany and have surpassed production of nuclear power for the first time.

Will Germany not simply have to import nuclear power from other countries such as France? Aren’t renewables raising the cost of power in Germany? And what about coal — isn’t Germany switching to that? The Freiburg-based American journalist Craig Morris discusses these questions in depth in the current report.

 Text adapted from the introduction to the report.

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