01.09.2022, Berlin: Robert Habeck (Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), Bundesminister für Wirtschaft und Klimaschutz, gibt eine Pressekonferenz zum fünften schwimmenden Flüssigerdgasterminal. Das gecharterte Spezialschiff soll in Wilhelmshaven anlanden. Foto: Kay Nietfeld/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

Of the three remaining nuclear power plants in Germany, two should serve as emergency reserves until mid-April. This was stated by Federal Minister of Economics Robert Habeck on Monday during the presentation of the results of a second network stress test.

“The two nuclear power plants Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim should still be available until mid-April 2023 in order to be able to make an additional contribution to the power grid in southern Germany over the winter of 2022/23, if necessary,” said the Greens politician in a statement from his ministry circulated message quoted.

The second grid stress test came to the conclusion “that crisis situations in the electricity system that lasted by the hour in the winter of 22/23 are very unlikely, but cannot be completely ruled out at the moment,” the statement said. The third remaining Emsland power plant is to be taken off the grid as planned by the end of the year.

Because Russia is supplying less gas and in view of the sharp rise in energy prices, discussions have been going on in Germany for months about a possible longer operation of the three remaining nuclear power plants in Germany. It was actually intended that the three remaining reactors would be taken off the grid at the end of the year.

Previously, not only the opposition Union, but also the FDP, which is part of the government, had campaigned for the continued operation of the nuclear power plants. The Union has been warning of possible power outages in winter for weeks and is calling for three other nuclear power plants that were shut down last year to be reactivated.

Finance Minister and FDP leader Christian Lindner had demanded the continued operation of all three nuclear power plants on Monday, regardless of the result of Habeck’s test presented to the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.

“In these times, all possibilities should be used to reduce the electricity price for people and companies. In my view, this is an economic policy stress test that must also play a role in addition to the energy policy stress test,” said Lindner of the “SZ”. However, there is also “a lot to be said for the fact that the three nuclear power plants should continue to be operated to ensure grid stability”.

You shouldn’t be too picky, but allow everything that makes life easier physically and economically, the FDP leader demanded. “Everything from the exploration of domestic oil and gas deposits, which are now economical in view of the world market prices, the continued operation of the nuclear power plants until at least 2024, through the mobilization of all coal capacities to all colors of hydrogen,” must be used. he explained to the “SZ”

In the case of the Greens, Federal Environment Minister Steffi Lemke had not ruled out a short-term continued operation of at least the Bavarian nuclear power plant Isar 2 via a so-called stretch operation. With him, nuclear power plants would only remain connected to the grid for a few weeks or months beyond the turn of the year without new fuel rods being used. In parts of the green basis, however, resistance is also high here.