CDU leader Friedrich Merz predicts a power problem in Germany for the winter and wants to stick to nuclear power. Economics Minister Habeck argues against this.
Berlin – The debate about the impending supply crisis in the German Bundestag continues. Fueled by the impending gas ban in Germany due to the Ukraine war, the federal government is currently looking for an alternative solution so that it can continue to supply German households and industry in autumn and winter. The three nuclear power plants still in operation in Germany have also become the focus of the debate. In an interview, CDU leader Friedrich Merz has once again spoken out in favor of leaving the nuclear power plants connected to the grid in the coming year.
Merz predicts “electricity problem” in winter – nuclear power plant shutdown “irresponsible”
The opposition leader in the Bundestag sees an “electricity problem” coming to Germany, for which politicians must prepare. “It may be that we don’t have a power problem today. But it is very likely that we will have a power problem in autumn and winter,” said Merz in an interview with SWR. “At the latest when private households start heating their apartments and houses with generators.”
In order to cope with this impending power shortage, the three remaining nuclear power plants Emsland, Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim 2 should be left on the grid. These are scheduled to be peeled off by December 31, 2022. This is what the law passed in 2011 to accelerate the energy transition provides for. A serious mistake for Merz. “We consider it irresponsible to shut down power generation capacities in Germany out of conviction or ideology,” said the CDU leader.
Gas crisis looms: electricity problem or heat problem? According to Habeck, nuclear power “does not help at all”
With his position, Merz also reflects the views of Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). The rejection of nuclear power has always been one of the core political issues of the Greens. But in the most recent debate, Habeck also put forward practical arguments – apart from the ideology accused by Merz. “We have a heat and a supply problem, not a power problem. And nuclear power doesn’t help us at all,” said the Vice Chancellor at an appointment in Vienna at the beginning of the week.
In Germany, natural gas is needed primarily for industry and for heating in winter and less for power generation. The share of gas in power generation in Germany has been high this year stream report between 2.8 and 6.7 percent. Nuclear energy contributed between 3 and 4 percent to electricity generation over the same period. Habeck wants to compensate for the electricity deficit with energy from coal-fired power plants.
Gas crisis: SPD also against running time extension of nuclear power plants
A position that also represents the coalition partner SPD. The parliamentary director of the SPD parliamentary group, Katja Mast, also spoke out on Friday against an extension of the lifetime of nuclear power plants – with almost identical choice of words.
In the foreseeable future, the federal government will not have an electricity problem, but a heat problem, said Mast on Friday in Pforzheim. But nuclear power plants only provide electricity. There are also technical challenges, such as the procurement of fuel rods and the necessary safety checks. Longer terms make no sense as long as all the gas currently used to generate electricity can be offset by coal power.
Traffic light coalition debates supply crisis – FDP wants to rely on nuclear power
The Ministry of the Environment from the Ministry of Steffi Lemke justified the refusal to extend the term in a joint test report with Habeck’s Ministry of Economics as follows: “A small contribution to the energy supply would be opposed to major economic, legal and safety risks”.
Only the FDP had recently spoken out in the traffic light coalition in favor of leaving the nuclear power plants on the grid beyond December 31st. “We don’t want to paint the devil on the wall. But we have to prepare for a scenario that could have far-reaching consequences for private households and German industry. Not a cubic meter of gas should have to be converted into electricity. That’s why it would be right now to extend the operating times of the nuclear power plants beyond the winter,” said the FDP parliamentary group leader in the Bundestag, Christian Dürr, on Tuesday of the German Press Agency.
Electricity problem in Germany? Gas stop from Russia would further fuel the discussion
The debate about the extension of the service life could really pick up speed again if Russian gas deliveries via the Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 1 continue to fail. Scheduled maintenance work has been carried out on the pipeline since Monday. Observers fear that Russia will not resume gas supplies after the maintenance work is completed. The Economics Minister also spoke of a “nightmare scenario” with regard to a lack of deliveries. (fd with dpa)
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