Register for an account

X

Enter your name and email address below.

Your email address is used to log in and will not be shared or sold. Read our privacy policy.

X

Website access code

Enter your access code into the form field below.

If you are a Zinio, Nook, Kindle, Apple, or Google Play subscriber, you can enter your website access code to gain subscriber access. Your website access code is located in the upper right corner of the Table of Contents page of your digital edition.

Environment

Germany's Blunder?

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorJune 1, 2011 7:27 PM

Newsletter

Sign up for our email newsletter for the latest science news

So it's official: Germany is banning nuclear power. Those who applaud this decision are obviously taking the long-term view--they see a clean energy age on the horizon. But in the short term, let's be clear-eyed about the tradeoffs. For starters, their are potentially huge climate consequences. I'm curious to hear what climate policy wonks and activists think of this. Secondly, there are geopolitical implications, which has Russia smiling today. The law of unintended consequences might also turn out to be ironic, according to this analysis:

Eleven years to replace an energy source that provides nearly a quarter of its electricity is no small feat. It's particularly difficult for Germany because it must adhere to European CO2 emissions caps. Meaning Germany has to find a low-carbon source of energy. In the short term, Germany, most likely will import nuclear power from France and the Czech Republic. This will place pressure on the existing nuclear power supply and drive up costs as a result. Consumers will feel the pinch. For big industrial companies, it will feel more like a punch.

Has Germany blundered? Or made a bold decision that will eventually pay off for the environment?

3 Free Articles Left

Want it all? Get unlimited access when you subscribe.

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In

Want unlimited access?

Subscribe today and save 70%

Subscribe

Already a subscriber? Register or Log In