overview of european energy nuclear policy
Nuclear energy, Germany's neighbours and Turkey
Far from Europe being united on nuclear energy, this article, the second in a series I'm translating "from the German Papers" shows how each country differs ideologically and in policy making. This is a lesson for me as a South African. Our policy seems to chime with Germany's more old school Eastern neighbours, I wonder why......
From this article above on nuclear energy in Europe, current policy
Remscheider General Anzeige, 4th July 2016. Das Gegenteil vom Okostrom-Umbau (The antithesis of restructuring for eco-energy)
Away with atomic, coal and gas energy, towards wind, sun, biomass: What is attempted in Germany many of its neighbours see differently
Berlin. Germany’s Energy revolution is intended to become the example for the world and should create new markets for high tech service delivery – that is a goal of much domestic energy politics. The expensive state support for green energy, the dissent because of the cost of abandoning atomic energy, and the resistance to new leadership damps the euphoria. A new version of the EEG (European Energy law) is supposed to help the situation, yet despite this retrospective judicial change, many other countries are unimpressed by the German energy model or even take a course in the opposite direction. Some examples from Europe will follow:
It was a small revolution in nuclear powered France that the 2015 energy restructuring law provides for a reduction in the use of nuclear energy by 2025 from the present 75 down to 50 percent. But almost a year later it is still unclear how this will be accomplished. The public electricity giant EDF thus far only wants to close two of its fifty eight reactors and is pressurizing for an extension of their running time. These were mostly built in the eighties and are nearing the end of their planned useful lives of 40 years. Basically the government in Paris is flexible towards an extension, but beats the drum of nuclear reduction. The future course of energy in France could be established by the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2017. Head of the Conservatives and ex president Nicolas Sarkozy announced the dropping of the 50 percent goal if he succeeds.
Belgium covers more than half its energy needs with nuclear power. While it had intended to get serious about phase out in 2015, an agreement between the liberal premier Charles Michel’s middle right government, and the supplier Electrabel, established that the two Doel reactors at Antwerp will continue operating until 2025. Belgium has seven reactors at two localities that provide their energy. The oldest were connected to the grid in 1975. In the last few months frequent breakdowns caused massive protest in Aachen, Germany, which is only seventy kilometers away from the Belgian nuclear power reactor Tihange.
After the Fukushima catastrophy in March 2011, Switzerland decided on the phasing out of nuclear energy. The five nuclear power stations would be shut down between 2019-2034. The ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ was designed, a stepped plan aimed at increasing of efficiency and the use of renewable energy. The use per person should sink by forty three percent by 2035 and renewables should replace the present forty percent input from nuclear energy, in stages. Criticism of the deal, including the Swiss energy supplier (SES) stated it was questionable if the ambitious goals could be reached with the suggested means. The ‘Energy Strategy 2050’ is in the closing stages of parliamentary fine tuning.
Unlike Germany, this eastern neighbour is totally committed to nuclear energy. By 2050 its contribution into the energy mix will rise from a third to more than a half. This is the ‘National Action Plan’. To put this into practice, new reactors have to be built by 2025. Environmentalists are in an uproar. They believe the plants at Temelin, partially over 30 years old, and 60 km from the border with Bavaria, and those at Dukovany, 100 kilometers north of Vienna, are not safe. In Chechnya biomass and solar will also be used to replace lignite or brown coal, when the opencaste mines in north Bohemia are exhausted. Yet on the other hand, wind energy meets resistance in Chechnya.
In traditionally nuclear friendly Slovakia, nuclear energy build up has stagnated. A majority of the population and all parliamentary parties are for it, and there is no significant alternative energy movement. About half of the country’s energy needs are met by the nuclear plants at Jaslovske Bohunice and Mochovce. There two reactors are running, and two are under construction (Mochovce) and in planning (Bohunice). Slovakian politicians enthusiastically broadcast as a recommendation for the cleanness of atomic energy, that it makes coal generation irrelevant. Yet both reactors Mochovce 3 and 4 that should have been running at full capacity since 2012 and 2013, are not yet complete.
Turkey covers its energy needs at the moment mainly with gas (35 percent), coal (28.5 percent) and oil (27 percent). A fourth of this is from domestic resources, the rest imported. It is the government’s goal to produce more energy from local sources. It wants to build up both nuclear and renewables. The goal is that by 2023 it will produce 10 percent of energy from nuclear. Two nuclear plants are under construction, one in southern Mersin (Akkuyu) and one in Sinop on the Black Sea coast. The construction of the plant in Akkuyu was sharply criticized because the area is subject to earthquakes. President Erdogan stated in April that coal resources should be more strongly used.
Dpa >>hier und heute
home page for access to green DIY inspiration
green energy issues
the introduction to the series "from the German Papers"
cooling off of the global warming protection policy in Germany
German energy: public fission on nuclear energy
green electricity in South Africa ? not anytime soon
a nuclear positive article on wikipedia
Greenpeace on nuclear