Germany to Shutter All Reactors by 2022
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has committed to shutting down all 17 of Germany’s nuclear reactors by 2022. Eight will be permanently switched off by the end of this year, including seven that were disconnected for safety inspections in March.
The country plans to compensate for the closures with a plan to reduce electricity consumption by 10 percent and double the share of renewable energy sources to 35 percent by 2020. A new report from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the International Institute for Applied System Analysis revealed that Europe’s overall renewable energy capacity rose 30 percent in 2010.
European Union Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said that Germany could achieve its goals only if it also invests in better grid infrastructure, storage capacity and forward planning, as well as more renewable energies. Merkel defended the decision, saying, “Our energy system has to be fundamentally changed and can be fundamentally changed. We want the electricity of the future to be safer and at the same time, reliable and economical.”