حفلة 2024

Germany to keep two nuclear plants available, burn coal as backup to face energy crisis

Lawmakers in Germany announced on Monday that they are going to burn coal and keep two nuclear power plants available as a last resort to get through the winter and avert energy crisis brought on by war and climate change.

“The major crises — war and climate crises — have a very concrete effect,” said Robert Habeck, the federal economics and climate protection minister, in written statements published on Monday. The statement was issued in German and CNBC used Google to translate it to English.

The German government announced its plans to keep the Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim nuclear power plants, both of which are located in the southern part of the country, on a kind of backup status, available only if the country has no other option. The country announced the results of its second network stress test, in which German officials are calculating its energy needs based on a number of potentialities.

This second network stress test was focused on the winter season from 2022 to 2023, when energy demand is higher as people and businesses need to warm their homes.

The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection said in its written statement that “hourly crisis situations in the electricity system” this winter are “very unlikely, but cannot be completely ruled out at the moment.”

The Russian war in Ukraine has affected Germany’s ability to manage its energy supplies because the country depends heavily on natural gas exports from Russia.

On Friday, Gazprom, Russia’s major state-owned energy giant, said on Friday that it would not re-open the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which is the primary route of supplying Europe with natural gas, citing a need for doing some maintenance.

In addition to the squeeze on natural gas supplies, summer heatwaves and an ongoing drought have also disrupted energy sources in Germany.

“The summer drought has reduced the water levels in rivers and lakes, which weakens hydroelectric power in neighbouring countries and also makes it difficult for us to transport coal to the power plants that we have to use due to the tight gas situation,” Habeck added.

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