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A photograph of solar panels on a roof.

Renewable energy struggles and Germany’s phaseout of nuclear power

A New Era in Energy

April 2012, Number 03.02

“German Chancellor Angela Merkel spent four days in early March 2011, like many around the world, watching the nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, unfold on television. These events caused Merkel, a reasoned supporter of nuclear energy, to make a radical change in direction. On March 15, Merkel announced that Germany was shutting down seven nuclear power plants immediately and would decommission the remainder by 2022. “We can’t simply continue as normal,” Merkel was quoted in Der Spiegel. “The events in Japan teach us that something that by all scientific benchmarks was considered impossible can actually occur.”

But Germany has more ambitious plans than simply ending the era of nuclear power. The Germans are also simultaneously committing to a transition to renewable energy to meet its goals of cutting “greenhouse” gas emissions. According to Yale Environment 360, an online journal from Yale University, the plan “makes Germany the world’s most important laboratory of green growth.”

The excitement surrounding the German plan and its promise of a new energy paradigm is attractive to Europeans...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “A New Era in Energy,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 3, No. 2, 2012: 42-45.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.