Germany’s Green party staked its historic win on promises to accelerate the shutdown of the country’s remaining nuclear reactors. But Europe’s energy commissioner says their plans will only lead to more coal-fired power.

Guenther Oettinger — who may have his own ax to grind, as he is also a “former premier of the Baden-Wuerttemberg state where Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives lost power on Sunday” — argues that renewables simply can’t ramp up fast enough to replace the base-load power provided by Germany’s fleet of nuclear plants.

For Germany to meet its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and eliminate its nuclear power plants, the country is going to have to get creative, and fast. New plans for offshore wind turbines may help fill the breach.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!