| Click for the Finfacts Ireland Portal Homepage |

Finfacts Business News Centre

 Irish Economy
 EU Economy
 US Economy
 UK Economy
 Global Economy
 Asia Economy


How to use our RSS feed

Follow Finfacts on Twitter

Web Finfacts

See Search Box lower down this column for searches of Finfacts news pages. Where there may be the odd special character missing from an older page, it's a problem that developed when Interactive Tools upgraded to a new content management system.


Finfacts is Ireland's leading business information site and you are in its business news section.


Finfacts Homepage

Irish Share Prices

Euribor Daily Rates

Irish Economy

Global Income Per Capita

Global Cost of Living

Irish Tax - Income/Corporate

Global News

Bloomberg News

CNN Money

Cnet Tech News


Irish Independent

Irish Times

Irish Examiner

New York Times

Financial Times

Technology News




Content Management by interactivetools.com.

News : Innovation Last Updated: Apr 27, 2011 - 5:24 AM

Climate-policy goals of German government no longer attainable after decision to phase out nuclear power
By Michael Hennigan, Founder and Editor of Finfacts
Apr 26, 2011 - 5:41 AM

Email this article
 Printer friendly page

The climate-policy goals of the German government are no longer attainable after the decision last month to phase out nuclear power plants, according to Prof. Hans-Werner Sinn, president of the Ifo Institute for Economic research at the University of Munich.

We wrote last week that fresh from a victory in forcing the German government to abandon its nuclear policy, NIMBYs (people afflicted with the Not In My Back Yard syndrome) are bracing to battle against the massive new power lines and wind turbines that are being built across the country as part of the green energy program.

Dealing with objections to the inconveniences of green energy is one big challenge and according to Prof. Sinn electrical power from the sun and wind can indeed replace the electricity that comes from nuclear power plants in Germany - -  on paper at least - - since atomic energy only provides 4.6% of Germany’s final electricity supply, whereas electricity from wind and solar power amounts to 1.8%. He says the phase-out option is indeed in the realm of possibility, if one disregards the irregularity of the supply but the original hope that nuclear power would displace fossil fuels in order to curb global warming cannot be fulfilled with wind and solar power. Energy from fossil sources accounts for 84.7% of German final energy consumption.

Prof. Sinn says replacing nuclear electricity will be hard enough; replacing the electricity generated by fossil fuels on top of that is well nigh impossible. If the electricity supply in Germany, which amounts to 20.3% of final energy consumption, were to come from wind power, using present technology, a surface area the size of North-Rhine Westphalia would be needed, with turbines packed as closely together as technically feasible.

He says it is downright utopian to think that considerable portions of transportation, which consumes 26.1% of final energy, could also be driven by electrical motors fed with energy from the wind and sun. Should Germany yield to French pressure to increasingly electrify European transportation, the German strategy based on wind and solar power would not stand a chance against French nuclear power.

With bioenergy, which accounts for a good two-thirds of renewable energy, the energy calculation is more favourable. Here, however, there is the basic problem of competing with food crops. If bioenergy is restricted to biowaste, its potential would be correspondingly limited.

Since Germany is in the process of relinquishing the nuclear option for a gradual substitution of fossil energy sources, it will not be able to prevent persistently high CO2 emissions. The climate-policy goals of Chancellor Merkel will not be attainable.

Prof. Sinn says Germany can hope that its continued reliance on fossil energy sources will force the other European countries, via increasing prices in the European emissions trading system, to achieve the planned reductions in CO2 emissions themselves. But Germany cannot prevent other countries from attaining these savings by way of a further expansion of atomic energy.

Related Articles
Related Articles

© Copyright 2011 by Finfacts.com

Top of Page

Latest Headlines
Digital Taylorism: Amazon's chief rejects depiction of "soulless, dystopian workplace"
Most surviving startups do not grow; Tiny number powers jobs engine
Despite euro dip China & US remain most competitive manufacturing nations
Business startup rates up in most OECD countries led by Australia and UK
NASA's Kepler mission has confirmed the first near-Earth-size planet
Energy subsidies at 6.5% of global GDP; Commodity prices to remain weak
US startups rely on personal savings, debt; Venture capital funds less than 1%
Europe produces 13 $1bn+ "unicorn" startups in one year; London is Europe's digital capital
Irish-based firms raised €120m in VC funding in Q1 2015; Some top recipients Irish for tax purposes
Ireland: Fourth highest 25-34 year old ratio of third-level graduates in developed world: So what?
Business dynamism/ employer firm startups in US secular decline
Innovation Union Scoreboard 2015: Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany are on top
Education systems failing to provide students with skills for success in 21st century
US, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland have best higher education systems
Handbook of Service Innovation: Ireland moving up the value chain?
Switzerland revives silk industry that thrived for two centuries
Sales of Irish tech firms create 300 millionaires in 15 years and no scaleups
Apple warns of 'material' tax payments from EU's Irish tax investigation
Apple earnings surge 33% on higher price and iPhone sales jump in China
Big Pharma's internationalisation of R&D to China
The dangers of romanticising entrepreneurs despite key role
UK and Irish business R&D heavily reliant on foreign-owned firms
Silicon Valley and the development of the silicon microchip - Part 2
Ireland: Innovation with or without R&D/ scientific breakthroughs
UK government most open/ transparent in world; Ireland & Greece lowest ranking in Europe
10 questions about Switzerland's Solar Impulse aircraft – answered
Silicon Valley loses its silicon; Typical household income stagnates - Part 1
21st century skills are 18 century skills + a computer
Growing ICT sector in Europe accounts for 5% of employment
Should Ireland copy Singapore's scientific research investment plan?
Startups vs Scaleups: 4% of UK startups have 10+ employees 10 years later
Irish patent filings at European Patent Office fell in 2014
Facebook's maze of privacy settings maybe in breach of European law
Apple to invest €1.7bn in Irish and Danish data centres
Silicon Valley insider warns of dodgy $1bn valuations of private companies
Israel's Startup Nation not a jobs engine; Nor is Irish high tech
Established industries often beat new technology investment returns
Ireland: Noonan said EU to drop Apple tax case; Now expects court case
Irish R&D Tax Credit: No evidence of rising business innovation; Facts don't matter
Apple reports biggest profit of a public company in history