Federal Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) has asked Federal Economics Minister Robert Habeck (Greens) to stop electricity production using gas. “We have to work to ensure that the gas crisis is not accompanied by an electricity crisis,” said the FDP chairman of the “Bild am Sonntag”.
“Therefore, electricity can no longer be produced with gas, as is still happening.” In the direction of the Federal Minister of Economics, Lindner said: “Robert Habeck would have the legal authority to prevent that.”
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In this context, the finance minister once again advocated the continued operation of the nuclear power plants in Germany in order to obtain “other electricity capacities”. “There is much to be said for not shutting down the safe and climate-friendly nuclear power plants, but using them until 2024 if necessary.”
Due to fears of a stop to Russian gas deliveries, a possible extension of the service life of the last nuclear power plants still in operation in Germany is currently being discussed.
The president of the employers’ association Gesamtmetall, Stefan Wolf, has spoken out in favor of continued operation and a debate about the construction of new reactors. “I think it’s absolutely necessary for nuclear power plants to run longer,” Wolf told the newspapers of the Funke media group.
An extended service life for the three nuclear power plants that are still in operation could significantly reduce the generation of electricity from gas and help secure the power supply when gas is really no longer available.
“But we also have to have a debate about the construction of new nuclear power plants,” Wolf continued. “There are currently 50 new nuclear power plants being built worldwide, and the technology has advanced. The EU has only just labeled nuclear energy as green energy.”
There are currently three nuclear power plants still connected to the grid in Germany: Emsland in Lower Saxony, Isar 2 in Bavaria and Neckarwestheim 2 in Baden-Württemberg. According to the law, however, they should be switched off at the end of 2022. Among other things, they are discussing letting them run a few months longer in a so-called stretching operation.
Union and FDP are campaigning to allow at least limited continued operation beyond the turn of the year. The SPD and the Greens in particular are still skeptical. They also do not want to generally rule out at least temporary continued operation in the event of a crisis.
The chairwoman of the Green Youth, Sarah-Lee Heinrich, told the editorial network Germany: “An extension of the term cannot be made with us. And an extension of the running time is what goes beyond the stretching operation.” It is not necessary and expensive.
“And nuclear energy is a high-risk technology. What we need is the expansion of renewable energies.”