Germany leaves door open to expand use of nuclear power amid energy crisis – POLITICO
The German government indicated on Monday a potential change in the closure of the country’s three remaining nuclear power plants by the end of the year, saying that Berlin would analyze whether leaving these facilities operating longer could help strengthen energy security. .
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection told reporters in Berlin that the government had instructed energy suppliers to carry out a stress test for the German power grid to determine whether the electricity supply could be guaranteed this winter, even in the event of severe disruptions such as the Russian blackout. of its gas supplies, which are partly used to produce energy in Germany.
This stress test would be conducted under stricter assumptions than a previous test in the spring, the spokesperson said, adding that it would be « finalized in the coming weeks ».
Importantly, the deputy government spokesman also confirmed that the results of the stress test could justify the extension of the use of nuclear power plants.
« From the outset, the question of nuclear power stations has not been an ideological question for the German government but a purely technical question, which has been the subject of expert examination and will be subjected to it again in more strict, » the government spokesman said.
The exit of the last three German nuclear power plants is very sensitive for the ruling coalition: the Greens, who govern with Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Social Democrats and the Liberal Democratic Party (FDP), have lobbied to end the use of nuclear power by the end of this year, and until Monday, that was the government’s official position.
The FDP, however, strongly advocated for the extension of the use of nuclear energy in the context of the current crisis, arguing that this would reduce the need to use gas-fired power stations for energy production and help thereby reducing Germany’s overall dependence on Russian gas. However, economists have disputed this argument.
On Monday, Chancellor Scholz also separately accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of militarizing his country’s energy exports – as well as Ukrainian grain exports, which Moscow is currently preventing from leaving the Black Sea.
“Moscow does not hesitate to use grain deliveries and energy supplies as a weapon. We must take a strong stance against this,” Scholz told a press conference in Berlin.
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