Switch off because of: FDP conjures up a dispute over AKW runtimes
Created: 12/22/2022, 4:58 p.m
By: Jens Kiffmeier
FDP General Secretary Bijan Djir-Sarai: The question of energy prices will play an incredibly important role in Germany's economic development in the coming years © Lino Mirgeler/Michael Kappeler/dpa/Montage
Nuclear power, yes please: The FDP is not quiet in the dispute over the nuclear power plants and wants to extend the terms beyond April.
Now traffic light Zoff threatens.
Berlin – New start instead of shutdown: In view of the ongoing energy crisis, the FDP is heating up the debate about the German nuclear phase-out.
The liberals are increasingly moving away from the federal government's decision to actually shut down the last nuclear power plant in Germany in April 2023.
Federal Transport Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) initiated the discussion.
He questioned the nuclear phase-out planned for April.
Wissing told the
newspaper that it was crucial for a successful ramp-up of electromobility that electricity prices did not get out of hand.
With a view to the nuclear power plants, he said: "If extending the service life can make a contribution to this, it should not be rejected prematurely, if only for reasons of climate protection.
Electromobility only protects the climate if the electricity is produced in a climate-neutral manner.” The CDU would join in immediately.
But in the traffic light coalition, the topic should still cause an irritable mood.
FDP: The question of energy prices plays an incredibly important role in economic development
The FDP had already prevailed in the dispute over nuclear power.
Secretary General of the FDP, Bijan Djir-Sarai, said in the podcast "Politik mit Stil" by Ruben Giuliano in cooperation with
If the FDP were not in this coalition, then one can assume "that the three nuclear power plants available on the grid on 12/31
would have been turned off.
Only because the FDP is there, only because we negotiated it that way and only because we made it so tough, does the topic still play a role.
So how can this topic continue in the coalition?
The original position of the FDP was to keep the nuclear power plants running until at least 2024.
"The question of energy prices will play an incredibly important role in Germany's economic development over the next few years," says Bijan Djir-Sarai.
Everything must be done at the moment to create capacity on the energy market.
Regarding the question of whether the issue of extending the service life of the three nuclear power plants will be discussed again in mid-April, the FDP Secretary General said: It depends on “how energy development will be.
And there will be another objective assessment when the time comes.”
Nuclear phase-out: Federal government will only keep nuclear power plants in emergency operation until April 2023
Actually, nuclear energy in Germany would be over in the next few days.
At the end of the year, the three remaining reactors Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland in Lower Saxony should go offline.
But after the outbreak of the Ukraine war and the resulting energy crisis, some German politicians feared for security of supply in the country during the winter.
After tough debates, the federal government decided to postpone the nuclear phase-out by a few months and to maintain the three nuclear power plants in emergency operation.
For the Greens in particular, the compromise was associated with great abdominal pain.
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For Djir-Sarai, the postponement of the exit date was only a first serve.
One will now have to see how the energy prices, which are enormously important for Germany's economic progress, would develop.
If the prices for electricity, gas and oil remain high, there might be no way around having your own nuclear power, the liberal clarified in the podcast.
Debate about nuclear power: CDU also insists on extending the lifetime of the nuclear power plants
At least in the opposition, the FDP plan meets with approval.
After many Union politicians had campaigned for nuclear power in recent months, Schleswig-Holstein's Prime Minister Daniel Günther (CDU) now spoke out in favor of extended nuclear power plant operating times: "I thought it was wrong before to limit it to the April,” said the CDU politician recently on
It shouldn't be about ideology at the moment.
"So I think it's right to continue to extend the stretching operation so that nothing is really ruled out and to get through the winter of 2023/24 really well."
The operating times of at least the last three nuclear power plants would have to be extended by a few months and in any case beyond next winter.
"In fact, the winter of 2023/24 is the more problematic," said Günther.
There is still "a bit of preparation" missing.
However, the country is in the process of building an infrastructure for importing liquid gas in record time.
For this winter, a lot of gas, which can also be used for electricity production, flowed through the pipelines from Russia in the first few months of the year.
It was only in the summer that President Vladimir Putin turned off the tap after Germany and the European Union (EU) enacted severe economic sanctions.
As a result, some of the gas storage facilities were already well filled, so that the federal government only had to fill the resulting gap.
However, no one can reliably predict what the situation will be like in the coming year if no gas is supplied from Russia from the start.
However, the three nuclear power plants still connected to the grid account for only five percent of Germany's electricity requirements.
Nuclear power, no thanks: The Greens around Habeck reject the FDP's demand
The Greens are showing a sniffle.
An extension of the nuclear power plant running times is no longer an issue and it would not be one anymore, said Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck (Greens) after a meeting with Wissing.
From his point of view, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) had "finally decided" that the nuclear power plants would be used this winter and no longer.
Lower Saxony's climate minister Christian Meyer (Greens) got involved in a similar way.
"For us in Lower Saxony it is very clear: We want the nuclear phase-out and stand by it - without ifs or buts," said the minister to
In the most recent debate about lifetime extensions, "many people obviously forgot that in Germany we always have the risk of a serious accident and we don't even know what to do with the nuclear waste produced".
Netherlands, France and Japan: Nuclear power is reviving abroad
Irrespective of this, nuclear power is experiencing a small renaissance outside of Germany.
In addition to Great Britain, France and Poland, the Netherlands is also planning to build new nuclear power plants.
And even in Japan there is a rethink.
The government there is now planning to extend the service life of existing reactors beyond the previous limit of 60 years.
In addition, next-generation reactors are to be built to replace the old ones in the long term.
The world's third largest economy, ahead of Germany, is thus completely turning away from the temporary nuclear phase-out that was initiated after the worst-case scenario at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in March 2011 as a result of an earthquake and tsunami.
The catastrophe had also triggered the final exit in Germany.