Did Germany screw the planet by deep-sixing its nuclear plants?
Germany’s phaseout of nuclear power was a boneheaded move that has wreaked havoc with its power grid and cost consumers dearly, and it will hurt the planet by leading to more coal-fired power, says a feature by Aaron Wiener in The New Republic.
But wait, says Grist’s own David Roberts! Germany did no such thing! With cheap nuclear power standing in the way, Germany could never have ramped up an all-renewables grid. (Exactly the point previously made by Arne Jungjohann in Grist.) Here’s the Storified thread of the Twitter discussion that followed Wiener’s piece, in which a rare sort of detente — possibly even a resolution? — is reached.
Bottom line: Don’t count Germany out yet. Even if its emissions go up in the short term, the country has one of the most ironclad commitments of any nation on the planet to going 100 percent renewable. Ridding itself of aging nuclear power plants may, ironically, be a necessary step in realizing that goal.
- How Germany Phased Out Nuclear Power, Only to Get Mugged by Reality , The New Republic