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Germany is right to opt out of nuclear

Source:  Copyright 2011, Guardian
Date:  June 20, 2011
Byline:  Ulrich Beck
Original URL: Status ONLINE

"You Germans are on your own" was the reaction of Stewart Brandt, the American environmentalist, to Germany's plans to exit nuclear energy. He also added that Germany's decision was irresponsible. Economic considerations and the threat represented by greenhouse gases meant that we simply could not renounce nuclear energy. George Monbiot and Mark Lynas have argued along similar lines.

Having been a member of the special expert commission appointed by the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, in the wake of Fukushima, I disagree. Ultimately, the rejection of nuclear is not a result of German angst but of economic thinking. In the long run, nuclear power will become more expensive, while renewable energy will become cheaper. But the key point is that those who continue to leave all options open will not invest.

A hesitant Germany would fail to achieve the push of self-fulfilling prophecy in energy change that is required. Supporters of nuclear energy block their ...

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