Germany to extend lifetime of all 3 remaining nuclear plants amid energy crisis,indiabusinessport,com

Germany, which is experiencing an energy crisis this winter due to  the Ukraine-russia crisis has decided to establish the “legal basis” required to maintain all three of its existing nuclear power facilities operational until mid-April. Chancellor Olaf Scholz informed about this plan on Monday.

Scholz wrote a letter to cabinet ministers saying, “The legal basis will be created to allow the operation of the nuclear power plants Isar 2, Neckarwestheim 2 and Emsland beyond December 31, 2022 until April 15, 2023.”

In order to lessen its reliance on Russian energy imports in the wake of the Ukraine crisis, Europe’s largest economy had previously only agreed to keep two of the three reactors operating through their anticipated end-of-year phaseout.

The fate of the Emsland plant in northern Germany had strained relations between Scholz’s two coalition partners, with the nuclear-averse Greens refusing to support liberal FDP demands to keep the Emsland plant operational.

Lengthy disagreements within the ruling coalition government over the merits and drawbacks of nuclear energy delayed the implementation of a draft law to put the two plants on reserve beyond their planned phase-out at the end of this year.

After several rounds of negotiations in recent days failed to end the conflict, Scholz appears to have pulled rank with his statement on Monday evening.

According to the letter, Scholz, a member of the center-left Social Democrats, was using his position as chancellor to issue an order.

Scholz also requested that the ministries present an “ambitious” law to increase energy efficiency, and put into law an agreement to phase out coal by 2030.

Germany‘s initial goal was to completely phase out nuclear energy by the end of 2022, fulfilling the former chancellor Angela Merkel’s plan.

But as power prices soar and Russia cuts off gas supplies through the crucial Nord Stream 1 pipeline, the Ukraine war has fundamentally altered the global energy landscape, necessitating a radical rethink.

As the colder winter weather draws closer, Germany is scrambling to secure adequate energy supplies and even restarting coal-fired power plants that had been stalled.

Germany will keep two of its final three nuclear power plants, Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim 2, on standby as a backup until the spring of 2023, according to a major U-turn by Economics Minister Robert Habeck.

However, the FDP had been putting increasing pressure on him to maintain all three plants, with its Finance Minister Christian Lindner claiming that they were required to “reduce prices and prevent blackouts.”

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann from the FDP welcomed Scholz’s decision on Twitter.

“Common sense prevails,” he wrote. “This strengthens our country because it ensures more grid stability and lower electricity prices.”

(With inputs from agencies)

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