Germany to scrap nuclear power after Japanese disaster
Published 01/07/2011 | 05:00
Germany has voted to shut down all nuclear power reactors by 2022, making it the first major developed nation to reject the technology since the Fukushima disaster in Japan.
While other nations, including Britain and France, plan to build more nuclear reactors, Germany will have to scale up wind and solar power to "keep the lights on" and meet climate change targets.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, was forced into a rethink on nuclear power, having previously said the technology was safe, in order to retain public and political support.
Despite the fact that Germany gets 23pc of its power from its 17 nuclear reactors, nine of which are currently running at full capacity, she claimed that wind and solar energy could meet the shortfall.
The announcement is a shot in the arm for the renewables industry as it will provide certainty and funding.
"This is more than consensus for a nuclear exit, this is consensus for a switch to renewable energy," Mrs Merkel said.
Last September, she said that Germany would extend the life of the country's nuclear reactors by an average of 12 years.
But she was forced to change her mind after public unrest and political opposition. The lower house of parliament voted 513-79 for the shutdown.
The upper house, which represents Germany's 16 states, is expected to endorse the plans next week, but much of the package does not formally require its approval. (© Daily Telegraph, London)