Ziesing, Hans-Joachim
April 2003
Economic Bulletin;Apr2003, Vol. 40 Issue 4, p109
Academic Journal
People in Germany are increasingly asking how their power supply will be structured in the future. The "Consensus Agreement" on phasing out nuclear power represents a crucial decision in this respect. Germany's nuclear power stations, which currently have an overall capacity of around 22,000 MW and thus still account for around 30% of total electricity generation, will all be shut down over the next two decades. During the same period, however, a number of fossil-fuel power stations with a total capacity of at least another 40,000 MW will also be shut down due to ageing. Nuclear power stations are now no longer an option, while 20 years will not suffice to develop renewable energy sources capable of covering a substantial share of the capacity requirements. Energy saving is an essential and viable means of reducing the scale of the problem, but cannot resolve it. The simplest solution would be to build new stations powered by hard coal, brown coal and natural gas. Coal-fired stations have by far the highest carbon dioxide emissions of all power plants. A decision in their favour would be contrary to the demands of climate protection policy. One of the fundamental tasks of the coming years must be to obtain agreement on this issue between policy makers and industry.


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