German Economics Ministry caught hiding assessment, ahead of nuclear phase-out, that keeping nuclear plants in operation would reduce emissions by as much as 30 million tonnes of CO2 per year
The news magazine Cicero has been locked in litigation with Robert Habeck’s Ministry of Economic Affairs, seeking the release of documents that might shed light on the April shut-down of the final operating nuclear power plants in Germany. Ministry officials have refused to cooperate, but yesterday a court in Berlin finally ordered them to hand over whatever they could find.
Now that they have done so, their reasons for obstruction have become a little bit clearer.
Some recent history: On 7 March 2022, the Ministry published a Review of the Continued Operation of Nuclear Power Plants Due to the Ukraine War, which made the case for completing Merkel’s nuclear phase-out and shutting down the plants despite the impending energy crisis. This review concludes with a brief “assessment” of the implications for “energy and climate policy.” If you read carefully, you’ll notice a strange thing: The two paragraphs which follow this heading abound with remarks on energy production, but say basically nothing about climate or emissions.
The documents Habeck’s Ministry have released since the court order reveal why. BILD has seen an earlier draft of this review, and notes that there was a originally a third paragraph at the very end, which Ministry officials deleted before publication.
It was here that they explained the emissions implications of phasing out nuclear power:
With regard to the reduction in CO2 emissions – sometimes used as an argument in this discussion – the approximately 30 TWh of additional nuclear electricity per year from 2024 onwards would result in about 25–30 million tonnes of CO2 reduction in the German electricity supply. Yet there would be no European-wide CO2 savings, as the energy industry is subject to EU emissions trading and the cap in the EU-ETS is set independently of a possible lifetime extension [for nuclear plants] in Germany.
EU cap-and-trade bureaucracy aside, keeping our last remaining nuclear plants in operation would have reduced German emissions four-and-a-half times more than Habeck’s highly controversial and idiotic Building Energy Ordinances are slated to save, under the most optimistic assumptions, by 2030.
It’s no wonder they wanted to bury this assessment.
UPDATE: Since the nuclear phase-out, Germany has become a net electricity importer. 17.69% of our imported electricity is generated by foreign nuclear plants, mostly in France. These sources now represent more than 4% of all German power.
In other words, we are currently consuming more nuclear power than we were before we shut down our last nuclear plants at Isar 2, Emsland and Neckarwestheim 2.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is clown world.
Featured image, nuclear power plants: Image: Zoonar.com/www.artushfoto.eu/picture alliance
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