Fermi 2 Nuclear Power Plant Cooling Towers

Nuclear Power Plants: A Dying Breed?

The radiation tormenting Fukushima struck a chord in Germany; amidst widespread protesting the government shut down the seven oldest nuclear reactors in Germany to placate the public.  While the general population was captivated by the celebrations of the protesters, apprehension filled the halls of government, and a window of opportunity was presented to green energy firms.  Nuclear power plants are an essential player in producing German electricity.  Unless the German’s would favor being dependent on Russian oil pipelines the only viable path left to them is a rapid adoption of green energy.

Germany needs a silver-bullet solution to answer the energy vacuum left behind by the absentee nuclear plants and the declarations that the ten remaining nuclear reactors would be shut down ahead of schedule.  It’s solution is as ambitious as it is green. By 2030 Germany plans to take a third of its power from green sources.  By 2050 Germany plans be on eighty percent green power the 205o.  the government will spearhead incentives in every field: biogas, biomass, solar, wind, and hydro.  In addition, the country is abandoning the production of new nuclear plants and is pledging to decommission those that remain in operation ahead of schedule.

This is nothing short of a dangerous gamble.  Germany will become the flagship for alternative energy production of the world, if they succeed.  If they fail, the rest of Europe will  have to sell power to the Germans to keep the country lit up.  The German people are coming to a hard ceiling; either they break through and prosper or they fail tragically and suffer a decline with cumbersome and unreliable energy fees.  When it comes to heating homes and power industry their is only a small margin of error for Germany.

It will be interesting to see what Germany will look like in thirty years: will it be a green paradise or a darkening backwater?