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Germany: nuclear power unavoidable

Brief

August 27, 2003

Nearly sixteen months after the "law on abandoning the use of nuclear power" became effective, the consensus on abandoning nuclear power is coming apart at the seams, according to the Financial Times Deutschland. For Wolfgang Clement, federal minister of the economy, renewable energies will not be able to fill in the gap created by shutting down nuclear power plants. For Hubertus Schmoldt, head of the chemical industry union, nuclear generated electricity is a necessity. And Wolfgang Birthler, environment minister for the state of Brandenburg, has banned new wind turbines.

Four key arguments against abandoning nuclear power are being put forth: the simultaneous abandonment of nuclear and coal is a myth; renewable energies will contribute only 25% of power production in 2020; subsidies for renewable energies are too costly; and the requirement to import more gas and oil makes Germany more dependent on the outside world, particularly the Middle East.