Berlin Markus Söder is fighting to enable the use of nuclear power in Germany beyond the legally defined end date. At the weekend, the Bavarian Prime Minister and CSU leader demanded that the federal states be given the opportunity to continue operating nuclear power plants under state responsibility.
“Bavaria is therefore demanding that the federal government have its own state responsibility for the continued operation of nuclear power,” said Söder of “Bild am Sonntag”. As long as the energy supply crisis due to the Ukraine war does not end and the transition to renewables does not succeed, “we must use every form of energy by the end of the decade,” he said. Bavaria is ready for this.
It seems almost impossible that Söder’s demand will be implemented. There is unlikely to be a majority in the Bundestag for the necessary amendment to the Atomic Energy Act. Britta Haßelmann, head of the Greens parliamentary group, said that the Atomic Energy Act has required the immediate dismantling of nuclear power plants since 2017. “If Söder now wants to prevent or delay the dismantling of a nuclear power plant, it must be checked whether this does not trigger liability claims against the Bavarian Ministry of the Environment,” said Hasselmann.
Söder’s advance comes at the same time as the shutdown of the last three nuclear reactors that were still producing electricity in Germany: around midnight on Saturday, RWE, EnBW and the Eon subsidiary Preussen Elektra reported that they had shut down the reactors as planned, switched them off and disconnected them from the power grid. These are the reactors Emsland (Lower Saxony, RWE), Neckarwestheim 2 (Baden-Württemberg, EnBW) and Isar 2 (Bavaria, Preussen Elektra).
Bavaria with deficits in the expansion of wind power
The Prime Minister’s assignment follows the party line and is also likely to be due to the election campaign: A new state parliament will be elected in Bavaria in October.
In addition, Bavaria sees itself particularly badly affected by the shutdown. Secured power plant capacity, i.e. power plant capacity that is available at all times, such as that supplied by nuclear, coal or gas power plants, is scarce in southern Germany in particular.
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In addition, the transport of wind power from northern Germany to Bavaria often fails due to a lack of line capacity. This also has to do with the fact that the expansion of the networks, especially from the Bavarian side, has been massively opposed for years. In addition, Bavaria has deficits in the expansion of wind power.
Söder is under massive pressure from the Bavarian economy. The Association of Bavarian Business (vbw) demanded that the three reactors continue to operate shortly before the shutdown. In addition, the association insists on a faster expansion of the grids and renewable energies.
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